Chiefs’ Travis Kelce says he will play until ‘wheels fall off’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Travis Kelce turns 35 in October and acknowledged he’s a lot closer to the end of his football career than the beginning. But he said he’s not planning on 2024 being his final season.

“I love coming to work every single day and doing this, so I am going to do it until the wheels fall off and hopefully that doesn’t happen anytime soon,” Kelce said after the Kansas City Chiefs’ minicamp practice Tuesday.

“I can’t put a time frame on it, man … Obviously I know that there’s opportunities outside of football for me and I think you’ve got to keep in perspective that I’m still a little kid when I come into this building. I know I’m 34 years old, about to be 35, but I have a love to do this right here in the middle of the heat in June.”

Kelce kept busy in an offseason that included his first major acting role in the FX horror drama “Grotesquerie.” Some of it, including the acting part, is aimed at setting himself up for life after football.

“I do take the offseason to get away and kind of recharge, but at the same time, I’m a football player,” Kelce said. “I love playing in the NFL and this will always be my main focus, but outside of that, football ends for everybody, so kind of dipping your toes in the water and seeing what you like in different areas in different career fields, I think the offseason is the best chance you can get.”

Kelce indicated he would be ready for his normal busy workload during the season, saying. “Wear and tear, baby. I’m ready for it, man. Put the load on me.”

But the Chiefs added two tight ends this year in veteran Irv Smith Jr. and draft pick Jared Wiley. Noah Gray, their fourth leading receiver last season, is also back.

That could be a sign that coach Andy Reid plans to reduce Kelce’s workload.

“It’s my job to make sure that Coach Reid has full confidence in me whenever he needs me out on that field or whenever I’m out on that field,” Kelce said. “As much as I want to be out there every single play, I understand that it’s for the betterment of the team when I’m not.

“I’m more comfortable with that right now because of the guys that we have in the room … We’ve got a lot of great tight ends in the building and it’s fun seeing them have success as well.”


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