Report: Chiefs' Tyreek Hill to Play vs. Steelers; Travis Kelce Waiting for Clearance

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 25, 2021

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 16: Tyreek Hill #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs warms up before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on December 16, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs wideout Tyreek Hill has reportedly been removed from the NFL's reserve/COVID-19 list, per the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, clearing him to play Sunday versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

As for tight end Travis Kelce, the Chiefs are "likely to activate" him Saturday, per Rapoport, "but he has not cleared, source said. This is in case he clears the protocols on Sunday."

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Explaining this: Under new protocols, a fully vaccinated player can be cleared with two negative tests taken concurrently (not 24 hours apart). So if Kelce tests out on game day, he can play. If he doesnโ€™t, heโ€™s inactive and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Chiefs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Chiefs</a> are down a roster spot. <a href="https://t.co/f5qQ3FpBbA">https://t.co/f5qQ3FpBbA</a> <a href="https://t.co/yeaKbfYF4z">https://t.co/yeaKbfYF4z</a>

While being without Kelce would be hardly ideal, having Hill available is a huge boost for a 10-4 Chiefs team trying to lock down the top overall seed in the AFC playoffs and an AFC West crown. The Chiefs seem like a pretty safe bet to earn a seventh straight postseason berth regardless. 

They've certainly come a long way from a 3-4 start, winning seven straight.

Hill, 27, is a big reason for the turnaround. He's having yet another excellent season, posting 102 catches for 1,178 yards and nine touchdowns. It's his first season with 100 or more receptions, his fourth season going over 1,100 receiving yards and his fifth straight season with seven or more touchdown receptions. 

No surprise, then, that he's a six-time Pro Bowler, three-time first-team All-Pro selection and a one-time champion. Accounting for his speed, ability to stretch defenses both vertically and horizontally and his ankle-breaking ability after the catch continues to be a nightmare for opposing defenses. 

The 7-6-1 Steelers will be the latest team to try as they attempt to keep their faint playoff hopes alive.