Guest of the League
4th and 44
FFL: Week 11 | NFL: Week 11

Chiefs tight end Kelce back at practice after ankle surgery

Wed Jul 24 1:25pm ET
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

Players: Travis Kelce, Blake Bell, Demetrius Harris, Gehrig Dieter, Demarcus Robinson, Deon Yelder, Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce talks to the media after NFL football training camp Wednesday, July 24, 2019, in St. Joseph, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce runs a drill during NFL football training camp Wednesday, July 24, 2019, in St. Joseph, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) Travis Kelce was back to catching passes for the Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday.

If he could do it on the beach, he could do it on a football field.

The two-time All-Pro tight end missed the entire offseason after having surgery to solidify an ankle that had become loose over time. Kelce said he had felt discomfort in it the past couple years, mainly on Monday and Tuesday, when his entire body was still sore from a Sunday game.

''I mean, it was nothing I was doing,'' he said. ''It was just the misfortune, over the course of my career I rolled my ankle so many times that the ligaments in there were kind of stretched out.''

The procedure early this spring essentially tightened up the ankle, and it kept Kelce from doing any running for about three months. That means he spent the team's voluntary summer workouts and its mandatory minicamp on the sidelines, absorbing constant ''Coach Kelce'' ribbing from teammates.

Kelce insisted he would be ready for the start of camp, but a watershed moment may have come during a recent trip to Turks and Caicos with quarterback Patrick Mahomes and wide receivers Demarcus Robinson and Gehrig Dieter. Mahomes was throwing passes to the other three on the soft, sandy beach, and the instability was a good test to see just how strong Kelce's ankle had become.

''There were times my ankle got caught in an awkward position, just running around,'' he said, ''and I can tell you, last year, two years ago, that thing would have been rolled and I would have been just sitting there, watching guys catch passes on the beach instead of doing it myself.''

Rookies, quarterbacks and select veterans reported to Missouri Western State University for the start of camp on Tuesday, and their first workout was on a postcard-perfect Wednesday morning.

Kelce was right in the mix, catching the first couple of passes of 7-on-7 and team drills.

He didn't have to report early: The rest of the veterans arrive Friday with the first full-squad workout scheduled for Saturday. After all, Kelce has earned that right after three consecutive seasons of at least 1,000 yards receiving, and a career-best 1,336 yards and 10 touchdowns last year.

But the 29-year-old Kelce, who inked a five-year, $46 million contract extension in January 2016, figured it was best to arrive with the rookies. It not only gave him a few extra practices to get back into football shape, it also provided an opportunity for him to mentor the younger players.

''I'm willing to work. That's the biggest thing,'' Kelce said. ''It's a little different when you see a guy out here going through the motions, walking the walk. Just being out here, working with the guys, showing them, `This is how we do it here.' Showing them by example.''

Kelce has his work cut out for him.

The Chiefs are perilously thin behind him at tight end after losing Demetrius Harris in free agency, and they could be in the market for a veteran backup once roster cuts happen.

But for now, former Oklahoma quarterback-turned-journeyman NFL tight end Blake Bell is No. 2 on the depth chart with unheralded Deon Yelder trailing him.

''I think we're going to be OK,'' Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. ''I think putting pads on, who's going to be able to play on the line of scrimmage and do what Demetrius did there. Who's going to be able to do that is hard to tell right now, but we'll find out.''

Regardless of how the depth chart shakes out, the Chiefs know who their No. 1 tight end will be.

''I'm 100 percent fine out there,'' Kelce said. ''Didn't have any issues today.''

NOTES: Second-round pick Juan Thornhill was at practice after missing part of the offseason work with a calf injury. The young safety is expected to compete for a starting job. ''They told me it was going to be OK. Just get treatment and get better,'' he said. ''That's the main thing.'' ... The rookie workouts are closed to the public this week, but the first full-squad practice Saturday is open.

Player Notes
Colin Kaepernick Nov 14 2:53am ET

The Denver Broncos will have a scout in attendance for free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick's (49ers) workout on Saturday, Nov. 13, according to general manager John Elway.

From TheHuddle

Tyler Lockett Nov 14 2:43am ET

Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett (shin) returned to Seattle on Wednesday, Nov. 13, after spending the previous two nights in the hospital, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Lockett is expected to be ready to play when the team returns from its bye on Sunday, Nov. 24.

Fantasy Spin: Seattle's bye came at the right time for Lockett, who gets 13 days to recover from his shin contusion. There's unlikely to be more news on his injury this week but do keep an eye on things next week just to ensure everything is proceeding as planned.

From TheHuddle

Austin Hooper Nov 14 2:33am ET

Updating a previous report, Atlanta Falcons TE Austin Hooper (knee) is considered 'week to week' by the team, according to ESPN's Vaughn McClure, who added that head coach Dan Quinn denied an earlier report that Hooper will be sidelined for a month.

Fantasy Spin: Hooper is obviously one of the top fantasy tight ends this season, so the fewer games he misses the better. At this point all we're sure of is that Hooper won't play Sunday against the Panthers so make alternate plans, but don't cut Hooper unless you have no other option.

From TheHuddle

Julian Edelman Nov 14 1:40am ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman will get a juicy matchup in Week 11 against a leaky Eagles secondary. Edelman has been as solid as a rock all season, posting 63 receptions for 663 yards and four touchdowns through his first nine games this season. Now he will face an Eagles Defense that is allowing the eighth most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. They have surrendered 12 touchdowns to receivers and 11 different receivers have scored 10-plus fantasy points against them. The Patriots passing game should be able to exploit the Eagles, making Edelman a low-end WR1 for Week 11.

From RotoBaller

Mohamed Sanu Nov 14 1:40am ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu will look to build off his excellent performance in Week 9 when the Patriots take on the Eagles in Week 11. In his second game with his new team, Sanu caught 10 passes for 81 yards and one touchdown. The veteran now will face an Eagles Defense that is allowing the eighth most fantasy points to receivers this season. Sanu actually caught four passes for 16 yards against the Eagles in Week 2 but he played for the Falcons at the time. The Eagles secondary has allowed seven 100-yard receiving games to receivers this season, a number Sanu could conceivably achieve in Week 11. Sanu will carry WR2/3 value into Sunday's matchup.

From RotoBaller

New England Patriots Nov 14 1:40am ET

The New England Patriots Defense will look to get back to its elite ways in Week 11 against the Eagles. The defense was exposed in Week 9 by the Ravens and have had an entire bye week to stew about it. They will face an Eagles offense that has been inconsistent this season and has allowed 12 sacks over their last four games. Before the Ravens game, the Patriots defense was on pace to break all sorts of fantasy records. Now they will have a chance to get back on track in Week 11 and should be considered a top-five fantasy play among defenses this coming Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Sony Michel Nov 14 1:30am ET

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel will try and get his season on track against the Eagles in Week 11. It won't be easy as the Eagles Defense has allowed the eighth fewest fantasy points to opposing backs this season. Outside of the Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott rushing for 111 yards against them in Week 7, no other running back has posted more than 63 rushing yards in a single game. Michel's fantasy status has been saved by his six rushing touchdowns this season but must drastically improve upon his 3.3 yards per carry. The second-year running back could disappoint with this difficult matchup in Week 11.

From RotoBaller

James White Nov 14 1:30am ET

New England Patriots running back James White is coming off the bye week with 44 receptions for 404 yards this season heading into Week 11's action. The veteran will go up against an Eagles Defense that is allowing the eighth fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. The Eagles have been tough on the run all season and have surrendered only one receiving touchdown to an opposing running back all season. The Patriots will still look to exploit the underneath passing game and White should see a solid amount of targets. But don't expect the world out of White in fantasy for Week 11.

From RotoBaller

Tom Brady Nov 14 1:20am ET

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Co. will be ready to roll of their bye week when they play the Eagles in Week 11. After a disappointing loss to the Ravens, the Patriots offense will look to get back on track against an Eagles Defense allowing the 15th most fantasy points to opposing passers. Brady is having another top-10 fantasy season at the quarterback position but has posted only modest totals the past few games. The Eagles secondary is still a mess but the defensive unit has allowed only an average of 15.1 fantasy points to quarterbacks over their last three games. But Brady is no average quarterback and should post top-10 totals once again in Week 11.

From RotoBaller

Chicago Bears Nov 14 1:10am ET

The Chicago Bears Defense will go up against a Rams offense in Week 11 that was manhandled by a feisty Steelers Defense last week. Los Angeles' offense has taken a step back this season and quarterback Jared Goff has already thrown nine interceptions this season. The Bears defense still is posting decent fantasy numbers but the takeaways have been on the decline over the past month. The Rams will be without multiple starters on their offensive line for this important game and the Bears defense will be an appealing choice with Khalil Mack and Co. can take advantage in Week 11.

From RotoBaller

David Montgomery Nov 14 1:00am ET

Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery will face a Rams Defense that is allowing the 11th fewest fantasy points to opposing backs this season. Montgomery's touches have been on the rise but, for the most part, his yardage is capping around 60-80 total yards a game. This is will be a challenging marker to hit against a Rams defense that hasn't allowed more than 66 rushing yards to a single running back since Week 5. The rookie does have three touchdowns over his last three games and will need a score to post RB2-type fantasy numbers in Week 11.

From RotoBaller

Tarik Cohen Nov 14 1:00am ET

Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen will look to make an explosive play on Sunday Night Football when the Bears take on the Rams in Week 11. Cohen is coming off one of his more active games of the season, posting 37 total yards with one touchdown against the Lions last week. Cohen is a threat in the passing game but the Rams Defense has not allowed an opposing running back to post more than 35 receiving yards against them since Week 1. The Bears offense is still a major work in progress, making Cohen a very risky FLEX play in most fantasy formats for Week 11.

From RotoBaller

Taylor Gabriel Nov 14 1:00am ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Taylor Gabriel will take on a Rams Defense that is allowing the 12th fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. Gabriel caught four passes for 39 yards and one touchdown in last week's win and could see plenty of targets with teammate Allen Robinson being shadowed by top corner Jalen Ramsey. The Rams secondary, however, has been tough on wide receivers this season. Outside of a three-touchdown meltdown against the Seahawks, the Rams have allowed only four touchdowns to receivers all season. Gabriel should see at least one deep target in the game and will be no more than a dart-throw in deeper fantasy formats for Week 11.

From RotoBaller

Mitch Trubisky Nov 14 12:50am ET

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky will try and bring his team back to .500 against the Rams in Week 11, Trubisky bounced back after a horrific showing against the Eagles by throwing three touchdowns against the Lions last week. But he will have a more challenging test this week against a Rams Defense that is allowing the 11th fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. They have, however, allowed an average of 281 yards passing over their last six games, The season is on the brink for both teams but Trubisky can't be trusted to deliver in fantasy for Week 11.

From RotoBaller

Allen Robinson Nov 14 12:50am ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson will have a tough test against the Rams in Week 11. Robinson has been the only consistent source of production for the Bears this season, heading into the game with 53 receptions for 618 yards and three touchdowns. But he should see plenty of Jalen Ramsey shadowing him throughout the game and the Rams are allowing the 12th fewest fantasy points to receivers. In addition, outside of allowing three touchdowns in Week 5 to Seahawks receivers, the Rams have surrendered only four touchdowns to receivers all season. Touchdowns have already been hard to come by for the Bears offense this season and Robinson could struggle to post WR2 numbers in Week 11.

From RotoBaller

Damontre Moore Nov 14 12:23am ET

The San Francisco 49ers signed free agent DE Damontre Moore to a one-year deal on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

From TheHuddle

Ronald Blair Nov 14 12:13am ET

San Francisco 49ers DL Ronald Blair (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

From TheHuddle

Adam Gase Nov 13 11:53pm ET

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase will return for the 2020 season, owner Christopher Johnson said Wednesday, Nov. 13. In fact, the owner said no changes will be made to the coaching staff during or after the season.

From TheHuddle

Aqib Talib Nov 13 11:53pm ET

The Miami Dolphins will not activated CB Aqib Talib (ribs) from the Reserve/Injured list, so he will miss the remainder of the 2019 season.

From TheHuddle

M.J. Stewart Nov 13 11:33pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers S M.J. Stewart (knee) will miss 'possible three to four' weeks due to the knee injury he suffered in Week 10, head coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday, Nov. 13.

From TheHuddle