Kansas City, Mo. — Travis Kelce said Justin Tucker violated an “unwritten rule” by extending his equipment and putting Patrick Mahomes in a loose spot, and said the Baltimore Ravens' kicker was “poking the bear” before the AFC Championship Game.
“If you want to be a f—ing d— about it, you put your helmet and your football and your f—ing kicking tee where the quarterbacks warm up. … If you're not going to take it, I'll gladly take it for you. Moving on,” Kells said Wednesday on his “New Heights” podcast with brother Jason Kells.
The video shows Mahomes throwing Ducker's kicking tee, Kelce's Baltimore kicker kicking the football and Mahomes tossing his helmet from where he was warming up before Sunday's game, which the Chiefs won 17-10.
Kelce explained the typical pregame routine, where each team gets half of the field to warm up. Kickers and punters are allowed to work on both sides of the field to account for wind and other weather conditions, but must stay away from opposing players when they venture to the other side, Gells said.
“Justin came out and said it was a fun gesture and a fun, competitive match. [move] I understand,” Kelce said. “He was winking at me and being a d— about it, trying to get under the skin. … We're not in a joking mood. We were ready to go after it.”
Mahomes said Tuesday that Ducker is the only kicker in his NFL career to break those unwritten rules.
“I've been doing the same warmup routine for seven years and only three times the kicker's absence … got in the way,” Mahomes told KCSP radio station in Kansas City. “It was three times in Baltimore.”
Mahomes added that he thought Tucker was trying to “get under our skin” and that he was “going to let it slide, but Travis moved it for me.”
Tucker said Monday that he viewed the pregame incident as “gamesmanship” and “all in good fun.” But Kelce, who caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes on Kansas City's opening drive, responded that Tucker's antics may have had consequences.
“Justin, I'm sorry, if we take it to a level you don't think it's going to get,” the Pro Bowl tight end said. “But if you're going to be a d—, I can catch you one every time. … Don't make me feel bad. He was poking the bear.”