Kelce added to COVID list

Travis Kelce, a huge part of the Kansas City Chiefs offense is one of the latest players to be placed on the NFL's reserve/COVID-19 list.



December 21, 2021 - 8:46 AM

In this photo from December 16, 2021, Travis Kelce (87) of the Kansas City Chiefs makes a catch during a 34-28 win over the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. (Harry How/Getty Images/TNS) Photo by TNS

A week after sending three players to the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list — all of whom remained out of action as of Monday evening — the Chiefs continue to deal with punches thrown by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Chiefs are adding tight end Travis Kelce, kicker Harrison Butker and cornerback Charvarius Ward as well, bringing to six the number of Kansas City players who are currently on the COVID list.

The moves come as the Chiefs prepare to play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium.

Defensive tackle Chris Jones, linebacker Willie Gay Jr. and wide receiver Josh Gordon, all of whom had to sit out the Chiefs’ overtime road win against the L.A. Chargers on Thursday, were placed on the COVID list last week.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said earlier Monday that he was “hoping” to have Jones, Gay and Gordon back this week, but the team now enters three more wait-and-see scenarios.

It was immediately unclear whether Kelce, Butker and Ward had tested positive or were determined to be close contacts, but their respective vaccination statuses will play a role in determining when they can return to action.

Under the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols issued last summer, vaccinated players or staff members who tested positive and were asymptomatic were allowed to return following two negative tests taken 24 hours apart.

But amid a surge of positive tests around the league, including more than 150 last week, the NFL and NFLPA have revised those protocols. According to the new guidelines, which were issued over the weekend, any fully vaccinated individuals who test positive will be tested daily.

A faster return from the protocol is possible if a particular individual is asymptomatic for at least 24 hours, among other considerations, according to

If Kelce doesn’t clear the league’s COVID protocols before Sunday’s game, the Chiefs would be left with tight ends Blake Bell and rookie Noah Gray on their active 53-player roster. The Chiefs have tight ends Mark Vital and Nakia Griffin-Stewart on their practice squad.

The Chiefs signed kicker Eilliot Fry to their practice squad last week, so they have an option at that position if Butker is unavailable for Sunday’s game.

The placement of Kelce, Butker and Ward on the reserve/COVID-19 list comes on the heels of the Chiefs’ 34-28 overtime win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night Football at SoFi Stadium.

The Chargers on Monday placed outside linebacker Joey Bosa, center Corey Linsley, wide receiver/returner Andre Roberts, cornerback Tevaughn Campbell, defensive back Trey Marshall, linebacker Chris Rumph and cornerback Kemon Hall on the reserve/COVID-19 list, according to multiple reports.