Spotlight remains on Travis Kelce as Chiefs kick off NFL season

Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce got a surprising reminder this week why pursuing a second career is a good idea.

While preparing for Thursday’s opening game against the Detroit Lions, Kelce suffered a hyperextended knee injury in practice. Although initial reports have been promising and the injury does not appear to be serious, it is unclear how much, if any, Kelce will be able to play.

The Chiefs have won eight straight games on kickoff weekend, the NFL’s longest active streak. They still have a long way to go to match the performance of the Dallas Cowboys, who won 16 straight opening games between 1966 and 1981.

Kelce’s injury was an untimely development for someone with otherwise uncanny timing.

In addition to being quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ favorite target, Kelce is also honing his comedic skills, hosting “Saturday Night Live” this spring and flashing his made-for-TV smile in commercials airing this football season. He and his older brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason, co-host “New Heights,” a podcast that bills itself as “the funniest family duo in football.”

Peyton and Eli Manning may have something to say about that, but there’s no doubt that Travis Kelce is on the Manning card, and certainly his market saturation.

“I feel like I watched from afar, and I was very lucky to have worked with Omaha Productions,” Kelce, 33, said, referring to Peyton Manning’s journey and the production company. “I was on the Manningcast. I saw Peyton hosting the ESPYs, doing all these fun things, and hosting Saturday Night Live. He kind of mentored me the week before about what ‘SNL’ is and how you have to buckle down, be one with them and trust the process.”

Kelce spoke to the Los Angeles Times in his star trailer earlier this summer, just around the corner from a commercial shoot in Studio City. This job was one of several in which he took center stage DirecTV’s “Overly Direct” campaign highlighting his witty sarcasm.

In this particular ad, the bearded Kelce stood in a football fan’s living room, simultaneously trying to watch a game while shooing away a pesky cable installer who was peering through the window and reaching into the popcorn bowl. With each take, Kelce gave a different impromptu commentary.

“I like giving instructions and being coached,” Kelce later said, referring to the instructions he received on set. “That was fun. I have some experience with it now, but I’m still learning the ins and outs.”

Fix in post-production? Nobody knows post-production like Kelce, who also runs crisp slants, hits and go routes. It’s no secret why he’s always one of the first players selected in fantasy drafts. He rushed for 10,344 yards and 69 touchdowns in 10 seasons, cementing his Hall of Fame reputation.

He needs two catches to surpass Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe’s career mark (815), the fourth-most by a tight end in league history. Former Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons star Tony Gonzalez has a commanding lead on the field with 1,325 receptions.

Kelce shows no signs of slowing down. Last season, he tied a career high with 110 receptions.

“I always try to stay one step ahead on the football field,” he said. “I put in so much work throughout the week to find a defense. … I feel like it’s very similar in the acting world, because if you fully understand the entire image you’re trying to portray, you can always be one step ahead in pursuing the direction that everyone would like to take. ”

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce signs autographs during training camp.

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce also garnered a lot of attention during training camp.

(Charlie Riedel/Associated Press)

Kelce made some headlines this summer when he got into a few fights during practice and when he revealed on his podcast that his attempt to give Taylor Swift his phone number was unsuccessful. He was hoping to give her some friendship bracelets with his numbers on them. Talk about overly direct.

But one of his highlights of the spring was hosting “SNL,” and he was a natural. What surprised him most was that they started the week with about 40 sketches at a table before eliminating three-quarters of them for the final version.

“It’s an incredible machine that runs at 30 Rock, and Lorne Michaels, as everyone says, hasn’t changed a thing,” he said of the show’s famed studio and producer. “It feels like you’re going back in time a little. You read out cue cards and the stage and auditorium you’re in feels like it hasn’t been touched since the ’80s or ’90s.

“When you stand on the actual stage where you deliver the monologue, the boards look like they haven’t been touched, like they haven’t supplied this place with any juice at all since they started. The history is palpable there. You can feel how many incredible nights they spent in this place.”

For Kelce, it’s about double vision. Two passions. Two careers, one of which will end in Canton.

Hollywood and bankruptcy.

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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