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Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce out Week 16 with COVID-19

Matt Johnson
Travis Kelce
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce will miss Week 16 after failing to clear the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols in time for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers

Kelce landed on the reserve/COVID list Monday after testing positive for the coronavirus. The Chiefs were hopeful Kelce, who is vaccinated, would receive clearance in time to play on Sunday against Pittsburgh. But the test results hours before the game determined the All-Pro tight end didn’t meet the requirements necessary to play.

Coming off a 191-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Los Angeles Chargers, Kelce’s absence is a huge blow for the Chiefs. Opponents typically play two safeties deep, taking away Tyreek Hill as a vertical threat and making Patrick Mahomes settle for shorter throws.

With Kelce sidelined, the Steelers will likely find containing Hill and the Chiefs’ offense less challenging than prior meetings. In Kelce’s absence, Noah Gray and Blake Bell will see increased snaps at tight end.

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