Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has been fined $12,000 by the NFL for a direct shot to the groin of New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy. The incident involved Kelce on the ground using the football as a fist and driving it between the legs of Van Noy, who came on in place of injured linebacker Dont’a Hightower during the team’s Week 1 matchup.
Kelce ran into some fine troubles last season with the league, following unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. This is his first run-in during 2017, opening the year with $12,000 less in his pocket.
During the team’s victory over New England, Kelce finished the game with five catches for 40 yards, while also carrying the ball once for 4 yards. Each of the past two seasons have seen the Chiefs’ tight end earn bids to the Pro Bowl. 2016 is arguably the best year of his career as a receiver, hauling in 85 receptions for 1,125 yards and four touchdowns.
Kelce has slowly developed into one of the league’s premier pass-catching weapons at the tight end position after he was selected in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of the University of Cincinnati by the Chiefs. He has not missed a game since the 2014 year, still in line to suit up despite his fine.
He next takes to the field on Sunday at home against the Philadelphia Eagles. Kelce’s older brother, Jason, will be on the other side of the field suiting up for the Eagles, which may keep Travis from going below the belt on any opposing players.