Travis Kelce may have been in low spirits after not being able to be with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs for their season-opening loss to the Detroit Lions. But he was in high spirits on his New Heights podcast on Wednesday, presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment — which involved a signature move his team finally made.
Following the 21-20 upset loss at Arrowhead Stadium, which saw Kelce nursing a knee injury, the Chiefs finally ended the lengthy holdout of Pro Bowl interior defensive lineman Chris Jones by signing him for a one-year extension worth up to $25 million.
Travis Kelce Reacts to Chris Jones Re-Signing
The verbose Kelce, who co-hosts his podcast alongside brother and Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl center Jason Kelce, gave an enthusiastic reaction to getting Jones back in a Chiefs uniform.
“I get my friend back in the building, man!” Travis Kelce began. “Get my dog back, man!”
Kelce even gave the four-time Pro-Bowler Jones this nickname:
“He’s Baby Shaq, man,” Kelce said, referencing four-time NBA Finals champion and basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal.
The return of Jones equally impacts the climate in the locker room, Kelce pointed out.
“You just miss that guy’s aura when he’s not around,” the perennial Pro Bowl tight end said.
Was the Two-Time Super Bowl Winner Involved in Jones’ Negotiations?
Before the season began, Kelce used his podcast platform to plead for Jones to return.
“Ah man, Chris, can you please come back? You’re really scaring me, man. I don’t get it,” Kelce said back on August 31. “You must know something that I don’t know because I just don’t get it.”
Kelce wasn’t through and made this plea to the same defender he’s won two Super Bowls with K.C.
“I really want to get another Super Bowl ring with you, brother,” Kelce said to Jones via his podcast. “This is me begging you to just come back and play football for the Chiefs. Please, we need you. We need you bad. And I don’t know what the situation is.”
Now, Jones is anticipated to make his 2023 debut versus the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road on Sunday, which is an AFC Divisional Round rematch from last season’s playoffs.
While Kelce made his sales pitch to try to coax Jones to end his holdout, he denied he was involved in the negotiations to get him back on board.
“I had absolutely nothing to do with this, sh**,” Kelce stated. “All I heard was that we got Chris Jones back for a year.”
Yet, he’s hoping that Jones stays in K.C. for longer than his new one-year deal.
“Hopefully, they can figure something out after this season to keep him here as long as I’m here,” Kelce said.
Will Kelce Return Sunday?
Meanwhile, is Kelce on his way back to the field?
“Things are looking up; I feel a lot better than I did last week,” Kelce said to his brother.
The Super Bowl 54 and 57 winner even used a strong word to describe his inactive state in the 2023 opener.
“I felt like an absolute a**hole not being able to play in that first game,” Kelce said. “It just felt like a non-contact injury.”
Though he joked that perhaps his injury was “karma” for making fun of actor/comedian Kevin Hart and Jason Kelce’s wife Kylie during the week of September 4 podcast.
“I felt the karma from it, not gonna lie. So never making fun of anybody,” Kelce joked.
Per the Chiefs’ injury report, Kelce was listed as limited during their Wednesday practice session. It’s the first sign that Kelce is making the attempt to rejoin the Chiefs.
Without Kelce, no Chiefs wide receiver surpassed 50 receiving yards in the loss to the Lions. His replacement, Noah Gray, ended up with three catches for 31 yards and averaged 10.3 yards a catch, though he did stretch the field on a 24-yard connection from Patrick Mahomes.