"We anticipate with his knee the way it looked in there this morning, according to Dr. DeLuca, and his age . . . that he will have a really good surgery and recovery," Burkholder said.
The team also officially announced the signing of veteran offensive lineman Steve Vallos, who will take Kelce's spot on the 53-man roster. Dallas Reynolds will start Sunday at Arizona in place of Kelce, Eagles coach Andy Reid said Monday. Vallos will be Reynolds' backup.
Reynolds stepped in for Kelce on Sunday when he left in the third quarter after Ravens safety Ed Reed accidentally dove into his knee. On Monday, a magnetic resonance image confirmed initial fears - that the second-year player had suffered the first major knee injury of his career.
The Eagles announced that the medial collateral ligament in Kelce's knee was completely torn and that the ACL was partially torn. Burkholder said then that there was a chance Kelce could return in four to six weeks once the MCL had healed, as long as the ACL tear wasn't considerable.
Later Monday afternoon, it was decided that Kelce's MCL would be repaired during the scope because the recovery time would be the same as allowing it to heal on its own. When DeLuca and his team performed the scope, they found that the ACL was indeed partially torn, but that it was significant enough to require reconstructive surgery.
Kelce will undergo surgery once the swelling in the knee subsides.
"It's not that they'll actually repair his torn ligament that's [partially torn]," Burkholder said. "They'll actually replace his ligament with a tendon."
Burkholder said that he was expecting the MCL to heal within six weeks and that the ACL surgery would take an additional nine months for recovery. The Eagles typically open training camp in late July.
"Nine months seems like a long way away, but it'll go day to day, week to week, month to month, and all of a sudden we'll be at Lehigh [site of Eagles camp] again next year," Burkholder said.
In the meantime, the Eagles have to replace a major cog in their offense. Kelce was one of the offensive line's best run blockers and the centerpiece of coach Howard Mudd's aggressive unit. He also assumed more responsibility for pre-snap protection calls this season, relieving quarterback Michael Vick of some pressure.
Reid said Monday that Reynolds would make the same calls at the line. The 28-year-old center played 37 snaps in place of Kelce against the Ravens - the first of his career on offense - and held his own against a strong defensive front as the Eagles came back to win.
His first career start will come against a Cardinals defense that held the Patriots to 18 points and sacked quarterback Tom Brady four times on Sunday.
Vallos, who spent all of training camp and the preseason with the Eagles, is the safety net in case Reynolds struggles. He was one of the last cuts before the team trimmed its roster to 53 on Aug. 31.
The 6-foot-3, 310-pound journeyman played in 40 career games with eight starts while in Seattle (2008-09) and then Cleveland (2010-11). The Eagles initially signed Vallos in March.
The Eagles are likely to be down another lineman on Sunday. Left tackle King Dunlap has a hamstring strain and is a long shot to play, Reid said Monday. Demetress Bell, who jumped in for Dunlap against the Ravens, will start in his place.
Bell was acquired in April after all-pro Jason Peters ruptured an Achilles tendon. He opened camp as the starter but lost his job after the first preseason game. Peters is on the non-football injured reserve list. He can still be activated, but Reid recently said that he was likely done for the season.
No Johnson. In response to a tweet about Chad Johnson being in Philadelphia on Tuesday, the Eagles said they do not have a workout scheduled with the wide receiver.
Contact Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @Jeff_McLane on Twitter.