ESPN: 'Coin Flip' If Chiefs' Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill Will Be Cleared vs. Steelers

Erin WalshDecember 24, 2021

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 16: Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts after scoring a pass play for a touchdown in overtime to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers 34-28 in a game at SoFi Stadium on December 16, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce reportedly continue to face an uncertain status for Sunday's Week 16 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Both players were placed on the NFL's reserve/COVID-19 list this week—Kelce on Monday and Hill on Tuesday.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler provided an update on their availability Friday on SportsCenter:

"Both are still in the COVID protocol. I'm told that the team is hopeful that they can get them back, but it is a bit of a coin flip. They're just waiting on hopefully positive results in the next few days to get them out of there. Josh Gordon, guys on the supporting cast, could see an elevated role against the Steelers if not."

Kelce has been one of the most durable tight ends in the NFL through his nine-year career. He missed all but one game during his 2013 rookie season after undergoing a knee procedure, but the Cincinnati product has appeared in at least 14 games in every season since.

Hill has also been durable, missing only six games across six seasons in K.C. He's played in all 14 games so far in 2021.

Kelce has been a staple in the Kansas City offense throughout his career, and he set an NFL record for receiving yards by a tight end with 1,416 yards last season. The 2020 campaign was also his fifth straight season with at least 1,000 receiving yards. 

Losing Kelce for any period of time isn't ideal for the Chiefs. He ranks second on the team with 83 catches for 1,066 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games. Only Hill (102 receptions, 1,178 yards and nine scores) has been more productive than the three-time All-Pro. 

Beyond Kelce and Hill, the Chiefs' top receivers are Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle and running back Darrel Williams. They have combined for 113 catches for 1,281 yards and six touchdowns this season. 

Kansas City signed Gordon in early October, though it's unclear how impactful he can be at this stage in his career. He has four catches for 27 yards and a touchdown in nine games this season. 

The Chiefs are 10-4 this season, which is the best record in the AFC. They'll need Kelce and Hill healthy for another deep run in the postseason.