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ST. JOSEPH 2019 Mecole Hardman Kansas City Chiefs , Mo. (AP) — Travis Kelce was back to catching passes for the Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday.If he could do it on the beach, he could do it on a football field.The two-time All-Pro tight end missed the entire offseason after having surgery to solidify an ankle that had become loose over time. Kelce said he had felt discomfort in it the past couple years, mainly on Monday and Tuesday, when his entire body was still sore from a Sunday game.“I mean, it was nothing I was doing,” he said. “It was just the misfortune, over the course of my career I rolled my ankle so many times that the ligaments in there were kind of stretched out.”The procedure early this spring essentially tightened up the ankle, and it kept Kelce from doing any running for about three months. That means he spent the team’s voluntary summer workouts and its mandatory minicamp on the sidelines, absorbing constant “Coach Kelce” ribbing from teammates.Kelce insisted he would be ready for the start of camp, but a watershed moment may have come during a recent trip to Turks and Caicos with quarterback Patrick Mahomes and wide receivers Demarcus Robinson and Gehrig Dieter. Mahomes was throwing passes to the other three on the soft Mecole Hardman Jersey Cheap , sandy beach, and the instability was a good test to see just how strong Kelce’s ankle had become.“There were times my ankle got caught in an awkward position, just running around,” he said, “and I can tell you, last year, two years ago, that thing would have been rolled and I would have been just sitting there, watching guys catch passes on the beach instead of doing it myself.”Rookies, quarterbacks and select veterans reported to Missouri Western State University for the start of camp on Tuesday Mecole Hardman Jersey Womens , and their first workout was on a postcard-perfect Wednesday morning.Kelce was right in the mix, catching the first couple of passes of 7-on-7 and team drills.He didn’t have to report early: The rest of the veterans arrive Friday with the first full-squad workout scheduled for Saturday. After all, Kelce has earned that right after three consecutive seasons of at least 1,000 yards receiving, and a career-best 1,336 yards and 10 touchdowns last year.But the 29-year-old Kelce, who inked a five-year, $46 million contract extension in January 2016, figured it was best to arrive with the rookies. It not only gave him a few extra practices to get back into football shape, it also provided an opportunity for him to mentor the younger players.“I’m willing to work. That’s the biggest thing Mecole Hardman Kansas City Chiefs Jerseys ,” Kelce said. “It’s a little different when you see a guy out here going through the motions, walking the walk. Just being out here, working with the guys, showing them, ‘This is how we do it here.’ Showing them by example.”Kelce has his work cut out for him.The Chiefs are perilously thin behind him at tight end after losing Demetrius Harris in free agency, and they could be in the market for a veteran backup once roster cuts happen.But for now, former Oklahoma quarterback-turned-journeyman NFL tight end Blake Bell is No. 2 on the depth chart with unheralded Deon Yelder trailing him.“I think we’re going to be OK,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “I think putting pads on, who’s going to be able to play on the line of scrimmage and do what Demetrius did there. Who’s going to be able to do that is hard to tell right now, but we’ll find out.”Regardless of how the depth chart shakes out Kansas City Chiefs Jerseys Stitched , the Chiefs know who their No. 1 tight end will be.“I’m 100 percent fine out there,” Kelce said. “Didn’t have any issues today.”NOTES: Second-round pick Juan Thornhill was at practice after missing part of the offseason work with a calf injury. The young safety is expected to compete for a starting job. “They told me it was going to be OK. Just get treatment and get better,” he said. “That’s the main thing.” … The rookie workouts are closed to the public this week, but the first full-squad practice Saturday is open. Patrick Mahomes has gone from playing the Madden video game with his dad to being on the cover.Electronic Arts announced Thursday that the Kansas City quarterback and reigning NFL MVP will grace the cover of “Madden NFL 20” when it is released Aug. 2. The announcement was made before the first round of the NFL draft.“It is awesome and definitely a full circle moment for me,” Mahomes said during an interview with The Associated Press before the cover was revealed.In his first season as the Chiefs’ starting QB, Mahomes threw for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns during the regular season and led them to the AFC championship game for the first time since 1993. He began last season with an overall Madden rating of 77 but finished the season with a 94.Mahomes said he was approached by Electronic Arts prior to the Pro Bowl in late January about appearing on the cover. He also has given a lot of input on the development of the Face of the Franchise: QB1 feature that will be in this year’s game.The feature allows players to create their own quarterback to play through the College Football Playoff, NFL combine, draft and career with a team. This image provided by EA Sports shows the cover of the Madden 20 video game, featuring Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes Mecole Hardman black jersey , which will be released in August. (Photo courtesy of EA Sports via AP)AP“It has been great to be able to discuss my experiences going through everything, especially the draft process, and to see how that will develop in the game,” Mahomes said.Mahomes, who is an avid video game player, said games like Madden have become more realistic and that the same concept of reading a playbook applies to learning football.Players have appeared on the Madden cover since 1999. Mahomes is the eighth quarterback to be featured on the Madden cover and the second in the past three years. New England‘s Tom Brady was on the cover two years ago.Appearing on the cover has also had a stigma attached at times. Most of the cover athletes during the first 10 years suffered significant injuries the year they appeared. Recently retired Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was the most recent player to be beset by injuries when he started only six games in 2016.Wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was traded from Pittsburgh to Oakland during the offseason, was on the cover last year.100View Gallery Gallery:View from the sidelines: NFL cheerleaders 2018Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports | Raj Mehta
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