KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt knows winning back-to-back Super Bowl titles will be a tall task.
“It’s one of the hardest things just to be the defending champion, come back and win another Super Bowl,” Hunt said Wednesday.
The Chiefs CEO and chairman said all 32 teams in the league are talented. None of them will make it easy for Kansas City — probably the opposite, in fact.
“Everybody’s gunning for you if you are the defending champion, so it’s a tall task,” Hunt said.
And the Chiefs know better than most what it’s like to get so close to a Super Bowl repeat but fall short. After a Super Bowl LIV win in 2020, the Chiefs were pummeled in Super Bowl LV and fell short of making it to Super Bowl LVI.
But Hunt is optimistic, and his team is shooting for a championship once again.
“(We’ve added) a lot of great young new players over the last two or three years, and the good news is some of those players now have experience. In fact, they have Super Bowl experience, which will be really valuable,” he said. “So I’m excited about the team. I think we have a great group.”
If the Chiefs want to make it to Las Vegas for Super Bowl LVII, they’ll certainly have to face a few challenges — some right at the start of the season.
After tight end Travis Kelce hyperextended his knee Tuesday in practice, Chiefs Kingdom is waiting for the injury report to see if he’ll play Thursday against the Detroit Lions.
“It’s one of those unfortunate things, particularly for it to happen days before the season opener,” Hunt said Wednesday.
“The good news is the MRIs are all good on the knee, and so it’s just gonna be a day-to-day thing and his ability to tolerate the pain. I would not bet against Travis Kelce.”
Kelce’s status for Thursday’s game is still unknown.
Chiefs fans also don’t know if defensive star Chris Jones will suit up, though it looks increasingly unlikely. But Jones did offer a glimmer of hope Wednesday.
Jones hasn’t been with the team throughout the offseason and preseason games, nor has he been at any practices leading up to Thursday’s first regular season game.
The 29-year-old is in the final year of his contract and holding out for a new contract extension. He has already acquired $2 million in fines for missing workouts and training camp.
But at an appearance Wednesday in Kansas City, Jones spoke publicly for the first time on the contract dispute.
Jones declined to comment on where negotiations stand currently with the Chiefs but said he hopes it all gets worked out.
“It’s always been my goal to be a Kansas City Chief for life. I’ve said that multiple times from social media platforms, from interviews,” Jones said.
The DT said he’s still on contract for this season, and he’s just taking it day by day. As for future seasons, that’s a decision for Hunt to make.
“It’s a process, right? And everyone handles it a little bit differently,” Hunt said Wednesday. “Obviously as an organization we want him back as soon as possible, and I know Chris wants to be on the field and he loves playing football.”
Jones said if the contract somehow worked out Wednesday, he’d be out on the field Thursday night.
“I could be playing. I could be on the sidelines. I don’t know. We’ll see tomorrow,” he said.