Phase one of the Kansas City Chiefs offseason program got underway on Monday with meetings, strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation.
And on the first day... media appearances, too.
”The ankle’s getting there,” he reported. “It feels good. I finally got the boot off on Friday. Everything feels good, and we’re on track.”
When we first learned of the surgery, the best information was that Kelce would likely miss Chiefs offseason activities, but would be ready for training camp in July. Asked when he thought he’d be back to 100%, Kelce said he didn’t know.
”I have no idea what the time frame is. I’m just taking it week by week.”
Still, Kelce said he was anxious to get back to the routine.
“I wish I could do everything right now, man,” he said. “I’m in the facility, and ready to get things going — that’s for sure.”
The Chiefs tight end also said the conclusion of last season was a disappointment, but he remains confident.
”It still stings you when you think about it, but at the same time, we’re here, and everyone in this building is ready to get this thing going. A lot of momentum was built from that.”
For Kelce — who at first was a little reluctant to shift his allegiance from former Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, whom he still describes as one of his “all-time favorite teammates” — it’s now all about his starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
”He’s just always going to be him,” Kelce told reporters. “Pat’s a high-energy guy. Very competitive. In every single year, everyone’s going to see his game go to another level.”
Kelce was with Mahomes during the Texas Tech Red Raiders’ Final Four run at the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and said he enjoys being out in public with his quarterback.
”I’ve never been around a guy with that much stardom everywhere he goes,” Kelce explained. “It’s cool because he’s laid-back; he appreciates the opportunity to meet everyone. It’s just fun to see him in that environment.”
And although he said that he and his teammates will miss backup tight end Demetrius Harris — who departed for the Cleveland Browns during free agency — he’s excited to play with new Chiefs tight end Blake Bell.
”Yeah, we just got out of meetings,” he said when asked if he had met the former Oklahoma Sooners tight end who has now joined his fourth NFL team. “Blake’s an addition that I think is awesome. Blake can roll. He’s an athlete. Former quarterback like myself — well, former Wildcat guy like myself; I wouldn’t call myself a quarterback. It’s just cool to have the Belldozer in.”