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Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (knee) is on the NFL injury report for Thursday's game with the Lions

Jul 24, 2023; St. Joseph, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) answers questions from reporters during training camp at Missouri Western State University. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

  • In the Lions vs Chiefs injury report for Thursday’s Detroit Lions vs Kansas City Chiefs game, KC TE Travis Kelce is questionable due to a hyperextended knee
  • Chiefs DT Chris Jones is a contract holdout and also won’t be playing
  • The Lions will be missing WR Jameson Williams, under NFL suspension for violating the league’s gambling policy

There aren’t many names populating the NFL injury report for Thursday’s season opener between the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and visiting Detroit Lions. However, there are some big names who may not be figuring in the game as we look at tonight’s Lions vs Chiefs injury report.

At the top of the list is Chiefs All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce. He hyperextended his knee in practice on Tuesday and is currently showing as questionable for the game.

Two other players aren’t hurt, but will be absent and their absence will be hurting their teams. Chiefs All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones is a contract holdout. Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams is serving the first of a six-game NFL suspension for violating the league’s gambling policy.

In the NFL betting line for this game, the Chiefs are set as 4.5-point home favorites over the Lions in the Lions vs Chiefs picks.

Lions Williams Would’ve Been Out Regardless

Even though it’s his suspension that has him officially on the sideline for the game, the fact of the matter is that Williams wouldn’t have been in the Detroit lineup even if he wasn’t under suspension. He pulled a hamstring during preseason play and couldn’t have answered the bell if he’d been available.

Last year, the Lions selected Williams in the first round of the NFL Draft out of Alabama. However, a knee injury kept him out of action for the first 12 games of the 2022 season.

Detroit Lions Injury Report

Player-Position Injury Game Status
Jameson Williams-WR Suspension Out
Julian Okwara-DE Knee Out (IR)
Nate Sudfeld-QB Knee Out (IR)
Hendon Hooker-QB Knee Out
Emmanuel Moseley-CB Knee Out
Shane Zylstra-TE Knee Out (IR)

The Lions also lost RDE Julian Okwara and third-string QB Nate Sudfeld to knee injuries during the preseason. Both were placed on IR. Backup RCB Emmanuel Moseley is also out for Thursday’s game due to a knee injury.

Kelce Still Hoping to Play for Chiefs

While it might make more sense this early in the season to protect an asset like Kelce until his knee is 100%, word from the Chiefs camp is that the All-Pro is pushing team officials to allow him to play in Thursday’s game.

Kelce was planning to test his ailing knee in a morning workout on Thursday to see if he’ll be able to go in the game. He also has a bone bruise on the knee. Kelce hasn’t missed a game through injury since his rookie NFL season of 2013.

Kansas City Chiefs Injury Report

Player-Position Injury Game Status
Travis Kelce-TE Knee Questionable
Chris Jones-DT Holdout Out
Jody Fortson-TE Knee Out (IR)
Nikko Remigio-WR Wrist Out (IR)
Nazeeh Johnson-S Knee Out (IR)
Charles Omenihu-DE Suspension Out (IR)

There’s no hope that Jones will be playing. He and the Chiefs are still miles apart in where they’re at in contract negotiations.

How Could Injuries Affect Lions vs Chiefs Betting Lines?

Since news first broke about the injury to Kelce, Lions vs Chiefs public betting trends are showing that the line shortened from Kansas City -6.5 points to the current line of Chiefs -4.5.

A four-time All -Pro selection, Kelce enjoyed a monster campaign in 2022. He caught a career-high 110 passes for 1,338 yards and 12 touchdowns. It was the seventh consecutive year that Kelce has garnered a minimum of 1,000 receiving yards. Certainly, he’d be a popular play in the Lions vs Chiefs player props.

Making his potential absence even more problematic is that backup TE Jody Fortson is already on IR with a knee injury. Fortson only caught seven passes last season, but two went for TDs.

Jones is also coming off a career year. The co-seventh betting choice in NFL DPOY odds at +2500, Jones was good for 15.5 sacks, 46 pressures, 29 QB hits and 17 tackles for loss last season. Tershawn Wharton, making the third start of his NFL career and first since 2021, is replacing Jones at RDT. Wharton saw action in five games last season, making eight tackles.

While Williams is offering huge potential in Detroit’s scheme, the fact of the matter is that he caught just nine passes during his rookie season. Veteran Marvin Jones, back for a second tour with the Lions, is starting along with Amon-Ra St Brown and Josh Reynolds at WR for the Lions.

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Robert Duff

Sports Writer


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