The Kansas City Chiefs got one Christmas miracle, but not two ahead of their Week 16 battle with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Their two most lethal weapons, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, were both moved to the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list recently, putting their availability against the Steelers in very real jeopardy. Hill will suit up on Sunday, but Kelce was ruled out by the team after failing to clear protocol in time.
Kelce underwent several more tests heading into Sunday, according to multiple reports, with the goal of joining Hill in clearing protocol. The organization activated the seven-time Pro Bowl tight end on Saturday from the reserve/COVID-19 list despite having not yet cleared protocol –taking the gamble he would clear on Sunday.
Kansas City took the chance Kelce, linebacker Nick Bolton, and right tackle Lucas Niang would clear protocol. Neither did and three active roster spots were wasted as a result, along with three starters out of the lineup. The Chiefs also ruled coaches Mike Kafka, Greg Lewis and Corey Matthaei all out of Sunday’s game due to COVID protocols.
It’s a critical game for the Chiefs — as they battle for both home-field advantage and the only first-round bye in the AFC — and they feel much better about their chances knowing Patrick Mahomes will have Hill to throw to, and crossing their fingers, eyes and toes that Kelce might be able to join them.