What number is Travis Kelce? The reason Chiefs star wears No. 87 jersey in NFL

For a number of reasons, Travis Kelce’s No. 87 jersey has been a hot seller during the 2023 NFL season.

A seven-time All-Pro tight end, Kelce has become a pop culture staple thanks to the podcast he hosts with his brother, Eagles center Jason Kelce; a number of advertisements;  and, of course, his romantic link to Taylor Swift. As a result, Kelce’s No. 87 jersey is more popular than it has ever been.

Why No. 87? Kelce, who was drafted 63rd overall by the Chiefs in 2013, has worn the jersey number since arriving in the NFL. During his college days, Kelce wore No. 18 before making a switch at the professional level.

MORE: How did Travis Kelce meet Taylor Swift?

Here’s why Kansas City’s star tight end has worn No. 87 throughout his NFL career.

Why does Travis Kelce wear No. 87?

Travis Kelce wears No. 87 as an ode to his older brother, who was born in 1987.

“I love you … you’re the only reason why I wear 87 anyway. I never told you that — you started the legacy.” Travis Kelce told Jason Kelce as they swapped jerseys following a regular-season meeting between Kansas City and Philadelphia.

Before the brothers went against one another in Super Bowl 57, Travis was asked about the above statement and explained his choice.

“If there is a Kelce legacy — two brothers making it to the NFL — it all started in 1987 because this big guy was born in 1987,” Travis Kelce said in an interview with NFL Films. 

In true big brother fashion, Jason responded by saying “it’s very cool, Trav.”

MORE: Why Aaron Rodgers called Travis Kelce ‘Mr. Pfizer’

The Kelce brothers, who are two years apart in age, are a great model of football success. Jason and Travis played football together at Cleveland Heights High School and the University of Cincinnati. 

Because of what transpired during their time at Cincinnati, Travis Kelce credits his older brother for saving his football career. After Travis was removed from the football team for a positive marijuana test in 2010, Jason took him in to help him get back on track. After some time, Jason asked the coaching staff to give his little brother a second chance and the rest is history.

“I’m forever in debt to this guy for putting his name, our name, putting his honor on the line to get me another chance,” Travis said of his older brother. “When I say I owe it all to him, I really do.”

Since arriving in the NFL, the brothers have earned a combined 12 All-Pro selections, with both of them earning first-team honors in 2022.

It’s still being written, but the legacy that Travis Kelce spoke of is pretty impressive. And it all began in 1987.


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