Kelce brothers, Chiefs weigh in on new NFL rule changes

FILE: Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) catches a touchdown pass ahead of...
FILE: Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) catches a touchdown pass ahead of Philadelphia Eagles safety Marcus Epps (22) during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)(Abbie Parr | AP)
Published: May. 27, 2023 at 9:56 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Rule changes passed for the upcoming NFL season garnered significant reaction from Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and his brother Jason during the latest episode of the New Heights Podcast.

The Kelce brothers weighed in on the NFL allowing Thursday Night Football games to be flexed on the schedule, teams being allowed to dress a third quarterback for regular season games, and new kickoff legislation.

Both brothers said they were in support of short-week games as the NFL passed a rule allowing for games to be flexed into that broadcast window in Weeks 13-17.

“I’m a huge fan of them even later into the season, too,” Travis said.

Notably, the Chiefs’ All-Pro tight end had a monster game that saw him catch 10 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns during a Thursday night game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 15 of the 2021 season.

“I’m all for games being played on Thursdays because that means we have walk-throughs during the middle of the week and we don’t practice and then we get three days off after the game,” Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce said. “Players that are anti Thursday night games are just looking to make headlines. There’s no f------ chance anyone with half a brain cell is against Thursday night games.”

On Wednesday, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid expressed his displeasure with the new kickoff rule, which allows for fair catches to take place outside of the end zone and still result in the ball being placed at the 25-yard line. At league meetings this week, NFL Competition Committee member Rich McKay cited health and safety as the driving force of the change. He said league data pointed toward evidence that kickoff returns will decrease by seven percent, leading to a 15 percent reduction in concussions on those plays.

“My thing is, where does it stop?” Reid said Wednesday following one of Kansas City’s OTA sessions. “You start taking pieces and we’ll see how this goes, but you don’t want to take too many pieces away or we’ll be playing flag football.”

“I think this is absolutely stupid,” Travis said. “I don’t think this is making the game safer. I think it’s making it more boring and taking a lot of the excitement out out of the game’s opening play. This is whack.”

Chiefs All-Pro punter Tommy Townsend tweeted his displeasure with the rule change, which reportedly was opposed by the vast majority of special teams coaches across the league.

“Not good for football for many reasons,” Townsend wrote, “but let’s pass something that players and coaches are so clearly against (thumbs up emoji).”

After multiple quarterbacks for the San Francisco 49ers left this past season’s NFC Championship Game with injuries, the NFL is now allowing teams to suit up a third quarterback as a 47th active player. The designated third quarterback is only allowed to play in the event that the first and second quarterbacks leave the game due to injury, a rule change that Travis jokingly opposed.

“This thing is really shooting down my dreams,” said Travis. “That’s why I don’t like it. Before, whenever Pat (Mahomes) went down I felt like I was one snap away.”