ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Defensive end Chris Jones hit the practice field at Chiefs training camp for the first time this season, and no one appeared more excited than Jones himself.
“I got tired of sitting in the tent just watching,” Jones said. “You know, like a kid at home watching outside and you can’t play with the older kids. So it was good to get back out there.”
Jones started training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list following arthroscopic knee surgery July 12. The Chiefs earlier reported Jones injured the knee during a personal workout. The second-year lineman provided few details.
“A freak accident, a freak accident,” Jones said. “I guess just running on it.”
Jones participated in practice on a limited basis, taking part in individual drills before returning to the sidelines for rehab. He said the team’s head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder had a plan for his continued rehab but he remains uncertain of his return to game action.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Jones said. “Whatever Rick and them have for me, I am just going to try and do whatever. Those guys have their best intentions. I am just here to work.”
KELCE BACK TOO
Tight end Travis Kelce returned to practice for the first time since Aug. 3 due to inflammation in his knee, and the fifth-year player says he feels 100 percent.
“I got a little bit of that swelling out of there and sure enough I was out here going full speed,” Kelce said.
Head coach Andy Reid said the inflammation in Kelce’s knee stemmed from his 2013 microfracture knee surgery that wiped out his rookie season.
“I was just fortunate that the trainers and the docs gave me the opportunity to get some of my legs back,” Kelce said. “Right now I feel great. I know I can push through it if need to.”
Kelce said the issue would not have kept him out of a regular season game.
“I would be out there every day,” Kelce said.
The knee inflammation and offseason shoulder surgery. Sunday’s practice also marked his return to blocking drills for the first time this season.
“We got into a little bit of the blocking stuff, which I was held back from the last time I was out here due to my shoulder,” Kelce said. “Getting ready for week one.”
The 26-year-old Kelce said he feels the need to show more leadership and accountability as a veteran and one of the offense’s most experience pass catchers.
“I know we have a really young team on the offensive side of the ball and we need a lot of leadership to hone in the fun that we have,” Kelce said. “It’s a little bit more accountability I put on myself to be there for everybody and make sure that everybody’s doing the right things and being professionals.”
The Chiefs have taken many shots down field in training camp, and showed the same predisposition Friday night against San Francisco. Kelce said he’s ready to join the downfield barrage.
“We came out the first play we threw it up top, so that should tell you we’re sending a message to the league,” Kelce said.
QUOTES OF THE DAY
“We got TK, the freak. Man, that guy is awesome. He can play linebacker and defensive line. I guess they just went and got a more athletic Chris Jones.”
— Chris Jones on rookie defensive lineman Tanoh Kpassagnon
“Oh, beast! Did you see that? Split the double team, make the TFL. I went up to him and I told him, ‘Allen Bailey the Hulk is back.’ The Hulk is back in business, baby. And Nacho (Rakeem Nunez-Roches) out there pounding, boom, boom. I mean, it’s going to be a lot of excitement, man. I love it, man. Those guys give me energy. That is the energy we need right there.”
— Jones on the team’s defense and Allen Bailey’s tackle for a loss in Friday’s preseason opener
Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.