Chiefs' Travis Kelce in concussion protocol

The first half of the Kansas City Chiefs’ playoff opener was going as well as expected, until Travis Kelce didn’t get up from a big hit.

The Chiefs’ standout tight end took a huge hit from Tennessee Titans safety Johnathan Cyprien and lost the ball as he went down. Kelce stayed down for a moment, got up woozy, and it was clear he had to be evaluated for a concussion. Kelce went to the locker room.

The Chiefs later announced that he wouldn’t return to Saturday’s wild-card game.

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) celebrates his 13-yard touchdown catch against the Tennessee Titans. (AP)

Not much else went wrong for the Chiefs in the first half. They took a 21-3 lead into halftime against a Titans team that looked overwhelmed. Kelce was part of building that lead. His touchdown in the first quarter gave Kansas City a 14-0 lead. Quarterback Alex Smith finished the first half 19-of-23 for 231 yards. The Chiefs offense was rolling, but Kelce’s status was a concern at halftime.

Kelce is a major part of the Chiefs’ offense, one of the best tight ends in the NFL, and they came into the playoffs knowing they needed Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt all playing at their best to make a deep playoff run.

The Chiefs haven’t caught many breaks in the playoffs over the past couple decades. Even when they were having one of their best halves of playoff football since Joe Montana played, they have to worry about what looks like a key injury.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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