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Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (knee) out for 2023 NFL Kickoff Game vs. Lions

Kansas City's Super Bowl defense officially began with Travis Kelce sidelined.

Kelce will miss tonight's 2023 NFL Kickoff Game against the Detroit Lions due to the knee injury he suffered early this week, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Thursday. Kelce was subsequently listed among Kansas City's inactives.

"He just wasn't feeling right, so I wasn't going to put him out there with that," Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said after the Chiefs' loss Thursday night on why Kelce didn't play. "And he was honest with me, and we talked. So just not enough time there."

The eight-time Pro Bowl tight end suffered what was initially described by Chiefs head coach Andy Reid as a hyperextended knee during Tuesday's practice. Rapoport and NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero later categorized the injury as a bone bruise, which is not believed to be a long-term issue.

Nonetheless, Kelce, 33, will miss his first game due to injury since his rookie season in 2013.

In Kelce's absence, tight end Noah Gray is likely to get the start for the Chiefs. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes also will likely look to fill the massive Kelce-sized void with more targets for wide receivers Skyy Moore, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Kadarius Toney.

Kansas City has won eight consecutive season openers, eight games in a row overall (including playoffs) and 16 straight against NFC foes in the regular season dating back to 2019.

Each of those runs will be tested tonight against an upstart Lions team that will not have to worry about defending the most prolific tight end in the NFL.

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