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Fearless: Chiefs TE Travis Kelce shines in prime-time win despite ankle injury

There was attention aplenty for Travis Kelce's Grammy Award-winning guest, as has become standard.

There was also some concern as to Kelce's availability for the Kansas City Chiefs in their Thursday night tilt with the Denver Broncos.

Kelce shrugged off any distractions along with his ankle injury to turn in another stellar performance against the Broncos -- which has also become a standard -- in the Chiefs' 19-8 Week 6 win.

As has become a Kelce trademark, he owned the middle of the field and exploited the Broncos' zone coverage. All of Kelce's game-high nine receptions for 124 yards came against the Denver defense playing zone, per Next Gen Stats.

"He's kind of one of those guys you can give freedom because he knows this offense like the back of his hand," Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said after the game. "But he did a lot of great jobs. They were playing a lot of zone coverages; I think you saw today. In zone, he can work the middle of the field. It hurts some of our deep game, but at the same time, whenever you have a guy like that, that can work in the middle of the field, it helps out a ton."

It was Kelce's sixth career 100-yard game versus the Broncos, which is tied with a trio of Hall of Famers (Tim Brown, Lance Alworth, Don Maynard) for the most against Denver all time. Kelce's excellence has almost become expected for the Chiefs, evidenced by Thursday standing as his NFL tight end record 36th 100-yard game. It's a record he's held since last season, having surpassed Rob Gronkowski (32 100-yard games).

Before the first half was through, Kelce had already hit 100 yards. He'd actually outgained Denver's offense all by his lonesome, with 109 yards on seven catches to their 94 net yards.

"They were playing a lot of zones," Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said. "Soft zone, so he's good with that. He can work in those zones. They were called plays, and he actually ran them like they were supposed to be called for the most part."

In a Week 5 win against the Minnesota Vikings, Kelce suffered an ankle injury that forced him to briefly exit the contest. He re-entered with his ankle heavily taped and played the same way on Thursday. Late in the game, Kelce clearly aggravated his ankle and trotted to the sideline, but he returned shortly thereafter.

The eight-time Pro Bowler was questionable coming into Thursday night, but when asked after the game if there was ever any doubt Kelce would play, Reid easily replied, "No."

Kelce did miss Week 1 due to a knee bruise, and the Chiefs lost to the Detroit Lions. Since then, Kelce's been his usual self for the most part, and consequently, Kansas City has won five straight.

For roughly a month now, most of the attention regarding Kelce has been of the Taylor Swift variety. The budding relationship has generated mass attention, increased the tight end's jersey sales and added eyeballs to Chiefs games.

Through it all, Kelce has maintained his exceptional level of play and over the past two games toughed out a bum ankle.

Thursday was the latest example of Kelce's consistent greatness. It was also Kelce's 14th career prime-time game with 100-plus receiving yards (tying him for third all-time in such games). Further proof that Kelce's been shining in the spotlight long before there was a pop star cheering him on.

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