Travis Kelce decided to stay on the bench against the Chargers: ‘It never felt right to go out there chasing stats’

The 11-year veteran preferred to rest for the game against the Dolphins.

Travis Kelce could not break the thousand-yard barrier for the seventh consecutive year. With 986 yards on his account and only one game left to beat the record, the Kansas City Chiefs tight end made the difficult decision to stay on the bench.

Although his teammates and fans were eager for Kelce to continue making history, the player prioritized the team over personal glory.

“I was never into this. It never felt right to go out there chasing stats” when the team should already have in its sights the game against the Miami Dolphins, for the Wild Card Round of the NFL postseason, the player said.

In this sense, Kelce ruled out that it was a health issue. “It more so had nothing to really do with my health, it had nothing to really do with whether or not I was going to get injured,” said the player in the most recent broadcast of his podcast “New Heights.”

It was a difficult decision for Kelce
He reiterated that being left out of the Week 18 game against the Los Angeles Chargers, “was more so [that] it just didn’t feel right in my gut. It just didn’t feel like I should be playing the game that way.”

He admitted, “If I could get some rest going into next week and stay off the turf in LA and just avoid some hits, man, I was all for that to gear up for the playoffs here.”

Although team sources assured local media that the coaching staff was willing to allow him to go out on the field to get those 16 yards and overcome the thousand barrier, finally the player chose to stay on the sidelines. “It wasn’t an easy decision,” the tight end admitted.

Furthermore, he explained that even if he had played, there was no guarantee that he would get the desired figure. “It’s a lot harder than what you guys think it is. Even though I had a hundred and something against the Chargers earlier that year, it’s hard to do that twice against a team,” he stressed.

It wasn’t the best year for the Chiefs
Kansas City’s inconsistent play this season was another factor that kept Kelce from breaking the record. This year, the player had 93 receptions and five touchdowns, making him one of the most productive tight ends in the league, but a series of injuries and the team’s lack of effectiveness diminished his production.

Despite this, the University of Cincinnati product always puts things in perspective: “I’ve never sat here and said, ‘If I don’t get 1,000 yards, my season was a failure.’ I’ve always had it in my mind if I lose the Super Bowl, that’s a failure.”

Now, the Chiefs must take that first step towards the Super Bowl this Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium, where they will receive this Dolphins that look like the underdog but that will seek to surprise away from home.