Travis Kelce is getting candid about why he sat out his last game — and it wasn’t for health reasons.
“If I can get some rest going into next week… and just avoid some hits, I was all for that, to gear up for the playoffs,” he said.
On the latest episode of the New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce podcast, the NFL tight end, 34, shared some insight into his decision not to play in the Kansas City Chiefs game against the Los Angeles Chargers ahead of the playoffs.
“It had nothing to really do about my health. It had nothing to really do about whether I would get injured,” Travis explained on the podcast, noting that he also didn’t want to play the game just to hit a record of 1,000 receiving yards.
“It didn’t feel right in my gut and it didn’t feel like I should be playing the game that way [by the numbers],” he continued. “If I can get some rest going into next week, stay off the turf out there in L.A. and just avoid some hits… I was all for that, to gear up for the playoffs.”
When Jason Kelce, 36, asked further about his brother’s decision to not play to hit a record of 1,000 receiving yards, which Travis was just 16 yards short of, the Chiefs’ player emphasized that he didn’t care about the record and is more focused on getting his team through the playoffs to the Super Bowl.
“I’ve always just kind of had it in the back of my mind that that’s how I work, and it just didn’t feel right to just go out there for 16 yards,” Travis shared. “Just thought I’d just bring the energy on the sidelines, let my guys go out there and rock and sure enough they did.”
“[Travis] didn’t want to be selfish or come across as selfish. I mean everybody — all the players wanted him to play but he goes, ‘You know what? I don’t like the way it feels.’ He’s not into that, and so he chose not to play,” Reid said.
“That’s him,” the coach continued. “Most guys would’ve gone out and done it, but he said, ‘I’ve got a lot of records and he said this one here, I’m not gonna do it this way.’ ”
After securing their AFC West division title following their win against the Cincinnati Bengals on New Year’s Eve, the Chiefs narrowly defeated the Chargers 13-12 on Sunday.
The playoffs start this weekend, with Travis and the Chiefs scheduled to play a home game against the Miami Dolphins during the NFL’s wild-card round on Sat. Jan. 13.