- Adam Teicher, ESPN Staff Writer
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ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Kansas City Chiefs training camp at Missouri Western State University:
• Coach Andy Reid has said the Chiefs would take some practice snaps away from players who recently had surgery, and tight end Travis Kelce is among them. But taking some snaps away from Kelce is one thing and sitting him for an entire practice is another. Kelce spent his time working with other injured players away from the practice field. This looks to be an ominous sign for a player the Chiefs are counting on to provide a boost in their passing game. Kelce missed all of his rookie season last year with an ailing knee. The Chiefs took a hit at tight end when Sean McGrath, their leading pass receiver at the position last year, abruptly retired. The Chiefs could have survived his loss if Kelce, starter Anthony Fasano and young Demetrius Harris stayed healthy. But if Kelce doesn't get back on the practice field soon, the Chiefs' plans for getting more catches from their tight ends this season may have to be scrapped.
• Another position where depth will be tested is offensive tackle. Donald Stephenson, the starter on the right side, left practice with an ankle injury. Eric Fisher, the starting left tackle, is another one of those players coming off surgery who sits out some drills. When Fisher sat out, the Chiefs patched together an offensive line that featured Ryan Harris, signed on the eve of camp, at left tackle and journeyman J'Marcus Webb at right tackle. The Chiefs also have Jeff Linkenbach, who has played some tackle for the Indianapolis Colts, but he has worked mostly at guard.
• The Chiefs have several candidates to be their slot receiver, so the absence of Junior Hemingway with a sore hamstring is easy to forget. But Hemingway gives the Chiefs something they otherwise lack at the position: a big body. Hemingway, at 6-1 and 225 pounds, is bigger than most nickel backs, and for that reason, he can be a tough cover out of the slot. His first NFL catch last season was a touchdown on a route he ran from the slot. The Chiefs need Hemingway back sooner rather than later.
• Another receiver, Dwayne Bowe, left practice early with what the Chiefs said were cramps. Kyle Williamsand Frankie Hammond Jr. took advantage of their absence. Williams caught several catches, while Hammond had the play of the day. He caught a pass over the middle and then weaved his way through several defenders for the touchdown.
• A two-play sequence captured the essence of developmental quarterback Tyler Bray. On the first play, Bray threw one of those what-was-he-thinking passes that went straight to linebacker Dezman Moses, who made the interception. On the next, Bray threw a beautiful deep fade that wide receiver Darryl Surgent caught in the end zone.