The Kansas City Chiefs have activated Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce and two others from the COVID-19 reserve list, but have given them questionable designations to play in Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Chiefs announced on Saturday.
Kelce, offensive lineman Lucas Niang and inside linebacker Nick Bolton were all activated from the COVID-19 list and given questionable designations.
Each player must again test negative for COVID-19 on tests returned before the game on Sunday to participate. The moves were made in advance because players must be added to the active roster on Saturday in order to play on Sunday.
If the players are not able to play, Kansas City will not be able to make additional roster replacements under the league’s COVID-19 policy.
Kicker Harrison Butker, cornerback Rashad Fenton, offensive lineman Kyle Long, punter Tommy Townsend and safety Armani Watts will all miss the game while on the COVID-19 list. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill, cornerback Charvarius Ward and tight end Blake Bell have all been fully cleared to play.
Kelce, who was named to the 2022 AFC Pro Bowl team on Monday, is second among NFL tight ends with 83 catches, first with 1,066 receiving yards and tied for fourth with seven touchdowns.
Kelce’s backup is Bell, who has played 94 career games with five teams and is in his second stint in Kansas City. In 13 games this season, Bell has five catches for 41 yards.
Bolton is a rookie from Missouri that has made 11 starts at inside linebacker and has 102 tackles on the season, leading the Chiefs and 37 more than the next-nearest player, safety Tyrann Mathieu.
Willie Gay Jr. and Anthony Hitchens should be expected to start at inside linebacker if Bolton can’t play.
Niang has started eight games for the Chiefs and would be expected to start at right tackle if he can play. If not, Andrew Wylie and Price Tega Wanogho are among Kansas City’s options.