Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly was known for his toughness on the field. He's showing that toughness well into retirement, taking part in Pro Football Hall of Fame festivities even as he continues to recover from cancer treatment.
Kelly underwent chemotherapy and radiation this past spring for squamous cell carcinoma, an oral cancer for which he had surgery this past summer but returned in March. He's mostly stayed out of the public eye since, receiving treatments in New York City and Buffalo but making appearances at his football camp in Western New York.
"Every time Andre went to visit Jim, they talked about that … His life is still in that place of uncertainty, not knowing really what's going to happen with all of this. So he's still beat down. He's still tired. He still gets sick quite a bit. But he would not miss this for the world."
Kelly to Reed became the go-to play during the Bills' Super Bowl Years. Their 663 career completions remain second all-time behind Marvin Harrison-to-Peyton Manning.
Kelly – his hairline still thin from treatments and his face thinner than many are used to seeing – was there to embrace Reed when the weekend's festivities started Friday. Reed said having his former quarterback on hand made the moment even more special:
"He's been through so much in his life. He's had to battle so many different things … Three months ago, we didn't even know if he was going to be here. My heart beat pretty fast when I saw him."
Kelly entered the Hall of Fame in 2002, the first from the Bills team of that era to get in.
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Tags: Andre Reed, Buffalo, Buffalo Bills, Football, Jim Kelly, NFL