Travis Kelce underwent microfracture surgery last October and returned to the field for practice on Monday with the quarterbacks, rookies and the rest of the injured players. Since not all the veterans are at camp yet, Kelce even filled in on some long snapping at Monday's practice, which was actually the first position he played in high school.
After the first practice, how does his knee feel?
"It feels good," Kelce said. "I'm out here trying to get reps and trying to get back into football shape so I can play a full 16 game season."
Kelce was running and cutting while on the field. He didn't appear to have any limitations, although he admitted he is still trying to get his legs back into it after the time off. Chase Daniel said Kelce told him he has "Bambi legs" because he's running around like a lost deer as he works his way back.
"Getting the whole leg strength, the quad strength, the calf strength," Kelce said. "Sitting around for such a long time just waiting for it to heal, I'm trying to get those muscles to trigger and fire and get my explosiveness back."
He caught a short pass during practice and slipped and hit the turf, which made me gasp. But he popped right back up without any problems.
Another good sign for his knee: He's not wearing a brace. Even Aaron Murray, who had ACL surgery last November, wears a brace.
We're a ways away from seeing if Kelce can contribute anything meaningful this year but the potential is certainly there to be a big part of the offense. Alex Smith has been known to look for his tight ends plenty so, assuming he's healthy, Kelce will have his opportunities.
Consider this first day a step in the right direction.