Through their official Twitter account, the Kansas City Chiefs have declared tight end Travis Kelce, linebacker Nick Bolton and right tackle Lucas Niang as out for their Week 16 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium.
Source: #Chiefs TE Travis Kelce is out today. He did not clear COVID-19 protocols.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 26, 2021
The team would not normally declare players on the active roster as out for a game until about 90 minutes before kickoff. This, however, is a special case. All three of these players were added to the team’s Reserve/COVID list during the last week — but on Saturday, the team activated Kelce, Bolton and Niang to the roster, opening the door for each of them to play if they tested negative on Sunday.
But now, all three of them have failed to pass the NFL’s COVID testing protocols and will miss the game. Blake Bell — who had also tested positive this week, but has since been returned to the roster — will take Kelce’s place. Willie Gay Jr. — who was on the COVID list for the Los Angeles Chargers game a week ago Thursday — will get more work in Bolton’s absence. And Andrew Wylie is likely to start in place of Niang.