Chiefs’ Travis Kelce on AFC title pregame spat with Ravens’ Justin Tucker: ‘We weren’t in a joking mood’

What was all in good fun to Justin Tucker was a nuisance to Travis Kelce.

The Baltimore Ravens kicker and Kansas City Chiefs tight end got into a quarrel during pregame warmups of the AFC Championship Game on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. While Tucker was warming up on the Chiefs’ half of the field, which is allowed for special teams players, he got into a heated discussion with Kelce and quarterback Patrick Mahomes after Kelce tossed Tucker’s equipment aside of Kansas City’s drills.

On “New Heights,” Kelce and his brother Jason’s podcast, Travis said, “Specialists, because of the wind factor, they get a chance to kick at both field goals. But it’s always, if you’re trying to go on the other team’s designated area, stay out of their way.”

“That is the unwritten rule,” Jason said.

“You don’t interfere with what they have going on,” Travis said. “If you want to be a f—— d— about it, you keep your helmet and your football and your f—— kicking tee right where the quarterbacks are warming up. Eyes are looking left and they got a helmet down by their feet. If you’re not gonna pick that up, I’ll happily move that for you.”

Travis said Tucker was “being a d— about it, trying to get under the skin,” but he and Mahomes “just weren’t in a joking mood.”

Tucker had already moved his equipment once before Travis threw it aside. Tucker said Mahomes asked him to move his helmet while Tucker was on the ground stretching, and Tucker “happily got up” and moved it out of the way.

“At least, I think it was enough out of the way,” Tucker said Monday, as he and his teammates cleaned out their lockers a day after the season-ending 17-10 loss to the Chiefs. “And then Travis comes over and just kicks my stuff and he throws my helmet. I just thought it was all some gamesmanship, all in good fun. But it seemed to be taken a little more seriously.”

It was.

“Justin, sorry if we took it to a level that you didn’t think it’d get to, but if you’re going to be a d—, I promise you, I can one-up ya every time,” Travis said.

The contention between the two seems to have been extinguished. Tucker said Monday he’s fine letting the incident go, calling Travis — who passed Jerry Rice for the most postseason receptions of all time in the AFC title game with 152 — and Mahomes “two of the best players that have ever played the game at their respective positions.”

Travis echoed the sentiment, ending the podcast segment calling Tucker — who’s made 90.2 percent of his regular-season field goals and accumulated 1,649 regular-season points — “arguably one of the best (kickers) we’ve ever seen in the NFL.”

Required reading

(Photo: Geoff Burke / USA Today)

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