Kelce’s presence was glaring in K.C.’s opening loss to Detroit. No pass catcher eclipsed 50 yards or gathered more than four receptions, and players the offense intended to lean on fell far short of expectations.
Skyy Moore logged the most offensive snaps of any wideout with 43 and failed to record a catch on three targets. Kadarius Toney saw five targets on 16 plays but collected just a single reception for a single yard and had two drops — including one on a perfectly placed ball that turned instead into a tipped pick-six and changed the complexion of the game.
But that’s all behind them now, with Kelce’s return expected to bring color back to a Kansas City offense that faded against the Lions without him.
The eight-time Pro Bowler has 814 career receptions for 10,344 yards and 69 touchdowns. He’s by far the club’s most dangerous receiving threat, plus the one who shares a telepathic understanding at times with Mahomes.
They’ll need to flash that connection Sunday against Jacksonville in a rematch of the 2022 AFC Divisional Round. The last meeting between the clubs saw Mahomes miss part of the game with a high ankle sprain, Kelce catch two touchdowns and the Chiefs come away victorious, 27-20.
Now, with Kelce the one hobbled but playing, Kansas City seeks a return to .500.