Friday, January 28, 2022

Chiefs’ Travis Kelce placed on COVID-19 list, status for Week 16 game vs. Steelers uncertain

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Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is being placed on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cornerback Charvarius Ward and kicker Harrison Butker were also placed on the team’s COVID-19 list after testing positive for the virus, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. 

Kelce, who is vaccinated, per Schefter, has a chance to play in Sunday’s game under the NFL’s revamped return-to-play protocols. The Chiefs placed defensive tackle Chris Jones, linebacker Willie Gay and receiver Josh Gordon on their COVID-19 list prior to last week’s win in Los Angeles. 

Kelce, who on Monday was named to his seventh consecutive Pro Bowl, is coming off one of the best games of his career when he caught 10 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns in the Chiefs’ overtime win over the Chargers last Thursday night. During the game, Kelce went over the 1,000-yard receiving barrier for the sixth consecutive season. 

Kansas City enters Sunday’s game with a 10-4 record and would be the AFC’s No. 1 seed if the playoffs started today. The two-time defending AFC champions have won seven straight games after a 3-4 start. 

The Chiefs will face a Steelers team on Sunday that is coming off of a 19-13 win over the Titans. At 7-6-1, the Steelers need a win in order to keep pace with the Browns, Ravens and Bengals in the race to win the AFC North division title. Pittsburgh is currently 10th in the AFC standings. 

Pittsburgh’s defense, after forcing four turnovers in Sunday’s win over Tennessee, surrendered six touchdown passes in its first matchup against Patrick Mahomes in 2018. 

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