- Travis Kelce, 34, says he thinks about retiring from football “more than anyone could ever imagine.”
- The Kansas City Chiefs tight end opened up about his life and career in a Wall Street Journal interview.
- “The lingering injuries — the 10 surgeries I’ve had that I still feel every single surgery to this day,” Kelce said.
The Kansas City Chiefs tight end, 34, got candid about his future in the sport in the interview.
Despite being a two-time Super Bowl champion, Kelce admits that he often considers retiring due to the injuries that he’s sustained through the years.
“That’s the only thing I’ve never really been open about,” Kelce told WSJ. “The discomfort. The pain. The lingering injuries — the 10 surgeries I’ve had that I still feel every single surgery to this day.”
The average retirement age for an NFL player is 27.6 years old, according to a study by RBC Wealth Management. Most NFL players also have an average playing career of seven years.
Kelce has been in the NFL since he was drafted by the Chiefs in 2013. With 814 catches, he also holds the record for most receptions by any NFL tight end in their first 10 seasons.
Despite the pain from his past injuries, the football player’s dedication to the sport is not lost on the people around him.
“He has phenomenal pain tolerance. He’s played through things that other athletes I’ve coached through the years have not been able to push through. Mentally tough — way off the charts,” Tom Melvin, the Chiefs’ tight ends coach, told WSJ.
Since 2014, Kelce has only missed four games, per CBS Sports.
And while he does think about retirement, he’s not entirely ready for a life without the sport either.
Prior to his NFL career, Kelce played college football at the University of Cincinnati, where he was suspended for smoking marijuana, per WSJ.
“It was like my life was over,” Kelce said, reflecting on the incident.
This is not the first time the Chiefs tight end has addressed his retirement plans.
Previously, in June, Kelce played off retirement rumors by telling CBS Sports that he’ll be in the game “till the wheels fall off, baby.”
“I love this game. I know I’m going to miss it when I’m done playing,” Kelce said in June, per CBS Sports. “I get to play a game for a living at the age of 33, 34 and I think that’s something – you know, I don’t want to lose that. I don’t want to lose that excitement that I had for a game when I was a kid.”