Travis Kelce closes in another all-time NFL milestone list

Jason Witten is up next on the list of NFL legends for Travis Kelce to turn aside for touchdowns in a career.
Kansas City Chiefs v Minnesota Vikings
Kansas City Chiefs v Minnesota Vikings / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

The list of career achievements for Travis Kelce is, even at this point, already worthy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. At this rate, the only argument left is whether or not he'll be a first-ballot inductee.

Kelce is a household name at this stage of his NFL career even before he began dating the most popular singer of a generation or hosting Saturday Night Live. The veteran tight end started his NFL career off on an unfortunate foot by missing his entire rookie campaign due to injury but he bounced back to become a true hero at the position, the sort of well-rounded performer who has completely reimagined what's possible for the role—just like Tony Gonzalez before him, another Chiefs Hall of Famer.

Jason Witten is up next on the list of NFL legends for Travis Kelce to turn aside for touchdowns in a career.

For Kelce, the milestones have been adding up for quite some time. He's already a record-holder several times over for the most consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with seven at present, far more than the previous record of three before he toppled it a few years ago. He's decimated every record for production early in his career among tight ends, and his numbers are so gaudy that he's now beating even elite wide receivers with his year-end totals.

Up next on the list of impressive milestones for Kelce will be the true ironmen of the game—those players who were never as prolific or productive as Kelce in a given season but who were able to stay healthy and interested enough to pile up the production over many, many seasons. It's here that Kelce's rookie year hurts him because that's 16 games he could have played in his early twenties. Alas, those days are gone now.

Still, Kelce is threatening to break into the NFL's all-time list for career receiving touchdowns at the position, a category led by former San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates with 116. Kelce currently has 72, so he's got a long way to go before besting Gates, but he is within sight of No. 5 on the list in Jason Witten, who is just in front of him with 74.

Witten is the perfect example of the sort of ironman consistency required to rack up impressive career stats even if the year-to-year totals were never eye-popping. Remember Witten started playing in the NFL as a 21-year-old and then retired only to come back for another two years after his first retirement. He was 38 when he hung them up, so here he is sitting in front of Kelce despite never having double digit touchdowns in a single season.

Kelce is bound to break this record soon and put himself at No. 5, but he might be stuck there for a spell. Here's the full list:

NFL Career Touchdown Leaders Among Tight Ends

  1. Antonio Gates, 116 touchdowns
  2. Tony Gonzalez, 111
  3. Rob Gronkowski, 92
  4. Jimmy Graham, 86
  5. Jason Witten, 74
  6. Travis Kelce, 72