Kansas City Chiefs' Decision May Block Travis Kelce NFL Milestone

Chiefs Players Eye Personal Records Amid Season Finale.

by Nouman Rasool
Kansas City Chiefs' Decision May Block Travis Kelce NFL Milestone
© David Eulitt/Getty Images

In a crucial Week 18 matchup, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid faces a pivotal decision regarding star tight end Travis Kelce's participation against the Los Angeles Chargers. Kelce, a cornerstone of the Chiefs' offensive prowess, stands on the brink of a remarkable achievement: reaching 1,000 receiving yards for the eighth consecutive season.

He is a mere 16 yards shy of this milestone with only the regular season finale remaining. This game carries added significance as starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes is set to rest, passing the reins to backup Blaine Gabbert.

This shift echoes a similar scenario from two years ago when Chad Henne stepped in for Mahomes in a season finale, also against the Chargers. During that game, Kelce, along with other key starters, was sidelined, though he had already surpassed the 1,000-yard mark by then.

Reid's approach to player milestones remains pragmatic, as indicated in a recent press conference. When probed about prioritizing individual achievements, he maintained a non-committal stance, suggesting decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis.

The spotlight, however, intensifies on Kelce's quest for his eighth consecutive 1,000-yard season, a feat Reid acknowledges but remains guarded about in terms of Kelce's playtime.

Other Chiefs' Milestones

The Chiefs' roster boasts other players nearing personal landmarks.

Wide receiver Rashee Rice is close to capping an impressive 1,000-yard rookie season, while running back Isiah Pacheco is on the cusp of his first 1,000-yard campaign. Both, however, were absent from Wednesday's practice, focusing on recovery from minor injuries.

Kelce, fortunately, faces no such fitness concerns. Gabbert, poised to lead the team in Week 18, expressed his willingness to support Kelce in reaching his goal. Emphasizing the collective spirit, Gabbert noted that if Kelce plays, the team will strive to help him attain the crucial yards needed, underscoring the significance of this achievement to the organization.

Yet, Reid's strategy remains fluid, with only Mahomes' rest confirmed. The anticipation builds around whether Kelce will get the opportunity to extend his impressive streak in a season where his average yards per reception has dipped to a career-low.

Missing the game would not only stall his pursuit of the milestone but also mark his fewest appearances in a season since 2017 and 2020. Kelce's commitment and resilience remain unquestionable, having missed only a handful of games throughout his career, primarily due to injuries or health protocols.

As the Chiefs gear up for their final regular-season game, all eyes are on Reid's decision, which could significantly impact both the team's dynamics and Kelce's record-setting aspirations.

Kansas City Chiefs Travis Kelce