The Chiefs designated Kelce as questionable on their final injury report of the week. That bought them some time to make a final decision, but in the end they announced Kelce as one of their inactive players for the game.
Kelce was injured in practice Tuesday. He has missed three games since his rookie season in 2013 but none because of injury. He missed two games when the Chiefs rested many of their starters and one in 2021 when he had COVID-19.
The Chiefs have two other tight ends on their active roster, Noah Gray and Blake Bell. Gray caught 28 passes with a touchdown last season. Bell missed most of the year with a hip flexor injury but has 60 catches with one touchdown in eight NFL seasons with five teams.
The Chiefs also activated Matt Bushman off their practice squad, and he could be available to play against the Lions.
Kelce, who has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in seven consecutive seasons, caught a career-best 110 passes for 1,338 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.
ESPN's Adam Schefter contributed to this report.