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Vikings say Chiefs TE Travis Kelce will be tough to cover

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John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Jamaal Charles' season-ending injury (sad face) means there is one less player opposing defenses need to spend lots of time worrying about this week. That's no offense to Charcandrick West or Knile Davis but Jamaal Charles is in his own category when it comes to keeping opposing coaches up late at night.

More of the focus will turn to Chiefs WR Jeremy Maclin and TE Travis Kelce, and the Vikings know it. Their defensive coordinator, George Edwards, fielded questions from the Minnesota media this week and one of those was about the threat that Kelce poses.

"He does an excellent job within their route tree of what it is they ask him to do," Edwards said. "He's a tough cover, he's their second leading receiver, so he's getting a lot of touches on the football. We've got to do a good job of containing him within the passing game with what we're trying to do coverage-wise.

"So from that aspect of it, he is one of the guys that we know he is going to get the football. So that is one of the things that we've got to make sure in our matchups and our zones and our progressions underneath, that we do a good job with the leverage and whatever we've got called for that play."

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune says the Vikings this season have given up 18 catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns to tight ends. But they haven't faced a tight end of Kelce's caliber. Last week's game against the Bears was Kelce's least productive of the season; I am confident the Chiefs are going to change that this week in Minnesota.

The thing that does concern me here is that several of Kelce's bigger catches this season and last have been off of play action. With Charles out, how effective will the Chiefs play action be? That's something we probably haven't talked about enough because it could be significant.