Chiefs tight end Kelce out with ankle injury
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Tight end Travis Kelce will miss the Chiefs' preseason finale Thursday night against St. Louis after spraining his ankle in practice earlier this week.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Tuesday it was a slight sprain and Kelce would have been able to play had it been the regular season. But with most of the starters getting the night off - if not all of them - it only made sense to keep Kelce out of the game.
''It looked like he got his foot caught in the grass and tweaked his ankle a little bit,'' Reid said. ''I think he's lucky that the grass gave way a little bit.''
There are few players more valuable to the Chiefs offense than Kelce. Not only does he give quarterback Alex Smith an athletic tight end who can stretch the field, and running back Jamaal Charles an adept blocker, he also has little experience behind on the depth chart.
Rookie James O'Shaughnessy would be next in line. Richard Gordon and Ryan Taylor are also on the roster, while Demetrius Harris is only now getting back on the field after missing the entire offseason and most of training camp following foot surgery and a staph infection.
''Number one, you look for consistency - talent and consistency,'' Reid said. ''I think we've got good talent there. I'll be curious to see how they handle extended playing time here.''
Reid said that Harris could get on the field against the Rams, one day after offensive coordinator Doug Pederson projected it would be ''a couple of weeks'' before he could be game-ready.
''There's a good chance,'' Reid said. ''I kind of want to go back and see how he feels after today. If he does, it won't be a ton, but there's a chance he does play a little bit.''
Reid said his No. 2 offense and defense would start against St. Louis, which means Chase Daniel will get the nod at quarterback. The entrenched backup did not play at all last week as Reid opted to give third-stringer Aaron Murray more work behind Alex Smith.
''Just have some fun, really,'' Daniel said of his expectations for the Chiefs' final preseason game. ''Going out there and trying to run the offense to the best of our ability, and sharpen some stuff up before the start of the season. We've had a pretty good run so far.''
In other news, the Chiefs waived wide receiver Junior Hemingway, who had missed most of camp with a hip injury, and offensive tackle Tavon Rooks, who has been absent with an illness, as they pared down to the 75-man roster limit by Tuesday afternoon.
Linebacker Justin March was placed on injured reserve after the promising undrafted rookie needed surgery for a torn meniscus. Quarterback Tyler Bray was placed on the non-football injury list after tearing his ACL while playing basketball in January.
Like all teams, the Chiefs will have to trim to the 53-man roster limit by Saturday.
''It's horrible,'' Daniel said. ''For these rookies that have never been cut before, it's difficult. I was cut multiple times in my first year in New Orleans. I was on and off of the practice squad and on and off of the active roster. I got cut from Washington.
So it's very difficult,'' he said, ''and every guy has their unique way to deal with it, so you just offer your support and just say, `Hey, make the best of your opportunity.'''
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