Chiefs handed huge boost with both Travis Kelce and Chris Jones BACK for Jaguars game as Patrick Mahomes’ team looks to bounce back from Lions loss
- Kelce, 33, has been nurturing a right knee injury since preseason last month
- The two-time Super Bowl champ’ has been romantically linked with Taylor Swift
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Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce and defensive tackle Chris Jones will make their season debuts Sunday at Jacksonville, according to a report from NFL Network.
The two stars did not play for different reasons in the season opener, a 21-20 home loss to the Detroit Lions on September 7.
Kelce, 33, injured his right knee at practice on September 5 and was diagnosed with a bone bruise. He practiced on Wednesday and Thursday in a limited capacity.
An eight-time Pro Bowl selection, Kelce, who has been romantically linked with pop star Taylor Swift lately, has totaled 814 catches for 10,344 yards and 69 touchdowns in 144 career games (137 starts) with the Chiefs.
He will be on a ‘pitch count’ when he plays against the Jaguars, according to NFL Talk on X, formerly known as Twitter, and could be wearing a wrap or pad around his right knee throughout Sunday’s game, although that has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (back) and DT Chris Jones (front) will be available against the Jaguars
Kelce & Jones celebrating their Super Bowl LVII win against the Philadelphia Eagles in February
Jones, 29, ended his holdout that began at training camp after agreeing on Monday to a new one-year deal with incentives that reportedly could earn him more than his base salary of $19.5million – the finale of his four-year, $80M contract signed in 2020.
Jones racked up 15.5 sacks in 17 games last season and earned his fourth Pro Bowl nod. In 107 games (86 starts) for the Chiefs since being drafted in the second round in 2016, Jones has 65 sacks, 12 forced fumbles and 243 tackles.
The Jaguars are 1-0 after a 31-21 win at the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday. They will try to start 2-0 for the second time in 17 seasons on Sunday. On the other hand, the Chiefs are still searching for their first win of the season after their season-opening loss to the Detroit Lions, 21-20, at home.
Kansas City will try to avoid its first 0-2 start since 2014 and becoming the first Super Bowl champions to dig such a hole since Denver in 1999.
‘It doesn’t feel good; you want to win,’ said Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. ‘Obviously, you wanted to win that first game, but you didn’t, so you kind of have to just wash that from your mind and get onto the next game and try to make yourself better so you can go out there and get a win.’
Jones celebrates a sack with Kelce during the third quarter against the LA Chargers last season
Jaguars coach Doug Pederson is winless in three games against Chiefs head coach Andy Reid
The Jaguars don’t seem to have fully moved on from last season, as they still feel like they should have beaten Kansas City in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.
And they can easily recall why it didn’t happen: allowing a 98-yard touchdown drive to a backup quarterback in the second quarter, failing to score on two possessions in the third and committing two turnovers in the fourth.
‘We owe them,’ tight end Evan Engram said.
‘We’re going to have to beat teams like this to get to where we want to go,’ Jaguars receiver Christian Kirk said. ‘I think it’s really important for us to approach it that way. I’m looking forward to seeing how we respond when things get tough and hopefully come out on the positive side.’
Jaguars coach Doug Pederson is winless in three games against Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, his close friend and mentor. All three came at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
The Chiefs beat Pederson and Philadelphia 27-20 in Week 2 of the 2017 season. The Chiefs swept the Jaguars last season, winning 27-17 in Week 10 and 27-20 in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.
‘I got a ton of respect for coach Reid and his career and what he’s done,’ Pederson said. ‘Obviously you’d love to eventually win a football game against him.’