Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce didn’t appear in a single game as a rookie due to a right knee injury that was more severe than initially thought. He eventually needed microfracture surgery and was placed on the injured reserve in mid-October as a way of officially ending his season. The Chiefs lost both Kelce and Tony Moeaki to season-ending injuries, with Moeaki being released on a settlement in an unsurprising move. Either one of those players was supposed to give Alex Smith a solid move tight end to throw it to, and the Chiefs were expecting big things out of the Cincinnati product as a rookie.
Unfortunately, that never materialized, and Smith was essentially left with only Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles as viable targets. Kelce might not have lit up the world as a rookie, but he would have been a solid player and has plenty of natural talent and upside. That’s the kind of player the Chiefs will be getting back in 2014, and Smith should definitely benefit from having an upgrade at the TE position, particularly someone with Kelce’s versatility.
When asked if Kelce will be ready for OTAs, ESPN NFL Nation’s Adam Teicher replied that the second-year pro is “supposed to be” ready. It will be interesting to see how Kelce looks this offseason, and hopefully he can immediately have a solid impact and eventually be molded into a No. 2 target in the passing game. That’s would be a bullish prediction, but I think Kelce has the tools.