PHILADELPHIA — Eagles center Jason Kelce is having surgery on his elbow, the team announced Tuesday, and it's not known if he'll be back in time for the team's opener on Sept. 11.
A team spokesman described the procedure as "a routine cleanout" that would be "in his best interest and also allow for a speedy recovery."
It's not known how or when the injury occurred, or if it was something that just got worse as time went on. Before Tuesday, Kelce had missed only the first two days of practice two weeks ago while ramping back up after testing positive for COVID-19. He practiced Sunday night in the team's open practice at Lincoln Financial Field.
Kelce, of course, is one of the Eagles' top players. He is also one of the NFL's most durable. He has started 122 consecutive games, going back to 2014. It's the longest active streak among NFL centers going back to Chris Myers, who started 123 straight from 2007-14.
Kelce has played in 159 games overall as an Eagle, which ranks third among offensive linemen in team history. He needs to play in only 11 games to pass Chuck Bednarik for the team record.
He's still among the best centers in the NFL. Kelce, 34, was selected to the Pro Bowl last season for the fifth time in his career last season. He was also named a first team All-Pro for the fourth time in 2021.
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Typically, football players who have arthroscopic elbow surgery can return in about four weeks, which would put Kelce in range to return for the opener. Atlanta's Roddy White had elbow surgery on Aug. 23, 2017, and returned in time for the opener on Sept. 14 against the Eagles.
It's safe to say that Kelce won't play in any of the three preseason games. The Eagles drafted his eventual successor, Cam Jurgens, in the second round last spring. Jurgens, no doubt, will get all of the first-team reps until Kelce returns.
Contact Martin Frank at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.
This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Jason Kelce having elbow surgery, status unknown for Eagles opener