BREAKING: Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce to Miss Season Opener

The Kansas City Chiefs' depth at pass catcher will be stretched thin for tonight's regular-season opener against the Detroit Lions. Eight-time Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce will miss NBC's 2023 NFL Kickoff Game after hyperextending his knee during practice this week.Kelce thankfully avoided a catastrophic injury; ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Kelce's ACL remains intact. With luck, Kelce will be available for September 17th's road game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Kelce is a four-time All-Pro, a two-time Super Bowl champion, and arguably the greatest tight end of all time. His 1416 receiving yards during the 2020 season set an NFL record at the position. He also has a record seven seasons with 1000 or more yards, the most for a tight end in NFL history; no one else at the position has achieved the feat more than four times.

The Chiefs offense still excelled in 2022 despite jettisoning six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Tyreek Hill, so if any team has proven it can get by without its established superstars at pass catcher, it's them.

Still, losing Kelce for any significant amount of time may be a bridge too far, even for a team that starts two-time MVP Patrick Mahomes. Kelce has been mister reliable for the Chiefs for the entirety of the Mahomes era, appearing in 80 of a possible 82 games and hauling in a preposterous 507 receptions for 6444 yards and 47 touchdowns since 2018, by far the most on the team. Besides Kelce, no Chiefs pass-catcher currently on the roster has ever exceeded 700 receiving yards in a season.

Tonight should be a good preview of the Chief's potential without Kelce. Kelce turns 34 later this season, and Mahomes has yet to play truly meaningful football without him. Kelce may very well be the GOAT, but he can't dominate forever. There will come a time when Mahomes has to get by without him. Tonight's game could go a long toward clarifying just how exciting (or disappointing) that future will be.

Photo Credit: © Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports