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Kansas City Chiefs starting linebacker Willie Gay was suspended for four games due to a violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
This suspension stems from a January arrest in Overland Park, Kansas, where Gay was charged with criminal property damage of less than $1,000, which is a misdemeanor. He had agreed to a diversion program for the case to be resolved.
The suspension begins immediately, so Gay won’t be able to play until Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers. He will miss games, in order, against the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Las Vegas Raiders and Buffalo Bills.
Gay is also not allowed to use the Chiefs’ practice facility or have any contact with team officials for the next two weeks. Once that has passed, he’s allowed to enter the facility and attend meetings.
Over the first two games this season, Gay has 16 tackles, which is tied for second-most on the team. He also has one quarterback hit and two tackles for loss.
Gay, a second-round pick by the Chiefs in the 2020 NFL Draft, had 87 tackles in his first two seasons with Kansas City, including one forced fumble, two interceptions and seven passes defended.
In the meantime, Nick Bolton, the Chiefs’ other starting linebacker, will be asked to pick up the slack. Bolton has the team lead in tackles right now at 20, and he emerged last season as a player head coach Andy Reid can trust.
The second-round pick of the 2021 NFL Draft had 112 combined tackles with a fumble recovery for a touchdown and three passes defended. He had 11 tackles for loss and three quarterback hits as well.
Leo Chenal, a third-round rookie this year, and Darius Harris could fill Gay’s snap count at linebacker. Carlos Dunlap will also be in the mix as the strong side linebacker.