The Kansas City Chiefs took a chance with the hopes that three players would be able to clear the league’s COVID protocols on Sunday. Unfortunately, none of those three players were able to do so. The team announced that they’ve officially ruled out TE Travis Kelce, LB Nick Bolton and RT Lucas Niang, who were added to the injury report as questionable on Sunday.
The Chiefs did get WR Tyreek Hill back from the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday. So it’s not a total loss when it comes to getting some of these key players back ahead of Week 16.
We have ruled out TE Travis Kelce, LB Nick Bolton and OL Lucas Niang for today’s game. (Not Injury Related – Other)
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) December 26, 2021
This will only be the third time since the onset of the 2014 season that Kelce has missed a game for Kansas City. He sat in Week 17 of the 2017 NFL season, which was Patrick Mahomes’ first game. He also sat in Week 17 the 2020 NFL season. It’ll be a big test for Mahomes and an offensive unit that has relied heavily on the star over the past several seasons. This year alone he’s accounted for a ton of the team’s offensive production with 83 receptions for 1,066 yards and seven touchdowns on the year. That’s over a fourth of the team’s receiving yards on the year.
The rookie Bolton will miss his first career game, while missing games is becoming a bit of a trend for Niang. The offensive tackle missed his entire rookie season after opting out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also missed four games earlier this season with a rib injury. Andrew Wylie will fill in for Niang against the NFL’s sack leader, T.J. Watt.