KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to repair damage to his cartilage this week and could miss the remainder of the season.
The rookie out of Cincinnati has been dealing with what the Chiefs thought was a bone bruise since training camp. A series of MRI exams had come back negative, so orthopedic surgeon Dr. Cris Barnthouse did an arthroscopic procedure Tuesday that revealed the injury.
Head trainer Rick Burkholder acknowledged it could be season-ending, but coach Andy Reid said the Chiefs were not in a hurry to place Kelce on injured reserve.
“We’re going to give it a little time. We’ve done that to this point,” Reid said. “There’s nothing lost there, just to give it time. … It’s a shame that it happened, but the procedure, it happens. I’ve been there personally with knees. I get the picture. I know how it works.”
Burkholder said Kelce had returned to the Chiefs on Wednesday to begin rehab, and that the training staff will attempt to get him on the field at some point this season.
“I think this is an injury people get better from,” Burkholder said. “He’s a young guy. He’s got a good, healthy knee. We protected him so he didn’t do any additional damage. That gives him the best chance to come back and have a good, long career.”
Kelce has not played this season after the Chiefs selected him in the third round of the draft. His absence, along with that of Anthony Fasano, who has been dealing with a sprained ankle, has left the Chiefs perilously thin at tight end.
In other injury news, linebacker Justin Houston has passed a series of concussion tests after taking a blow to his head and neck last Sunday. Reid said the league’s second-leading sacker would not practice on Wednesday but should be ready for Sunday’s game against Oakland.
Houston already has 8 1/2 sacks during the Chiefs’ 5-0 start.
“He’s going through all the protocol and so far he’s clear of any signs of (a concussion),” Reid said. “But we’re taking him through that whole protocol on that and just making sure. The kid is doing a nice job and we don’t want to do anything to jeopardize him right now.”
Running back Jamaal Charles was also held out of practice because of blisters that cropped up on his feet a couple weeks ago. He played last Sunday at Tennessee but is still dealing with them.
“As a quarterback I’ve had my fair share of blisters,” said QB Alex Smith, “but nothing that looks like his. You develop your own secret to get through them.”
Charles wasn’t available in the locker room Wednesday.
“They’ve got to be bugging him,” Chiefs tight end Sean McGrath said. “It’s something he has to take care of and the training staff will do a great job of getting him ready.”