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Is there any way Travis Kelce can play in Week 17 vs. Bengals?

Chiefs TE Travis Kelce was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. We take a look at if he has a chance to play in Week 17 against the Bengals.

Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs makes a catch during a 34-28 win over the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on December 16, 2021 in Inglewood, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs placed tight end Travis Kelce on the reserve/COVID-19 list on December 20th after he tested positive. At the time, Adam Schefter reported Kelce was vaccinated, which makes it easier for him to return than if he was unvaccinated.

UPDATE: Kelce did not play in Week 16.

Is it possible for Travis Kelce to play in Week 17 vs. Bengals?

Wed, Dec 29 update: The team expects Kelce back at practice to open Week 17, which means he will be available for Sunday against the Bengals.

Sunday AM update: Kelce did not clear the COVID-19 protocols and will not play in Week 16 vs. the Steelers, per Adam Schefter. Blake Bell is his primary backup but is not someone to start in fantasy football. The offense will flow through the rest of the primary skill position players.

Saturday PM update: The Chiefs are expected to activate Kelce off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday. That does not mean he will play Sunday. He still has to pass his COVID-19 test, but he can’t be activated off the list on a Sunday game day. If he does not pass the COVID test, he will be a game-day inactive.

The fact that Kelce is reportedly vaccinated leaves the door open for him to play on Sunday. On Saturday, Schefter reported that Tyreek Hill had cleared the COVID-19 protocols but Kelce had not yet. He reported Kelce “still has a shot” and will take multiple COVID-19 tests on Sunday in advance of the 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff.

The NFL and NFLPA recently changed the process for which a vaccinated asymptomatic player can return to play. If vaccinated, he can return if he is asymptomatic for at least 24 hours by one of the following options:

  1. He receives two BRL PCR test results that are either negative or produce Cycle Threshold (CT) values of 35 or greater; OR
  2. He receive one BRL PCR test result that is either negative or produces CT values of 35 or greater and a negative Mesa test result from a test taken within 24 hours of the BRL PCR test. Both tests can be taken at the same time or less than 24 hours apart; OR
  3. He receives two negative MESA tests 24 hours after the initial swab was taken, but can be taken concurrently provided it’s two separate new swabs.

The previous policy required two negative tests at least 24 hours apart, but that has been cut down considerably with these new protocols.