Willie Gay Jr.

Chiefs LB Willie Gay Handed Four-Game Ban

The Chiefs will be without one of their young linebacker starters for an extended stretch. Willie Gay received a four-game suspension Monday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

This ban is for a personal conduct policy violation, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. In January, Gay was arrested on a misdemeanor criminal damage charge in connection with an incident in which he was visiting his son’s house and, amid an argument with the child’s mother, damaged property in her home. Gay, 24, agreed to a pretrial diversion program in June.

Gay, who played 92% of the Chiefs’ defensive snaps in their win over the Chargers, has been a full-time starter for most of his career. This will mark another absence for the former second-round pick, however. Gay missed five games due to injury in 2021.

Gay and 2021 second-rounder Nick Bolton reside as the Chiefs’ top linebackers. The latter is Kansas City’s centerpiece player at the position, but Gay has made 21 career starts. He has 16 tackles (two for loss) and two passes defensed through two games this season. He will miss games against the Colts, Buccaneers, Raiders and Bills.

Pro Football Focus rated Gay as a top-25 linebacker last season, one that featured two interceptions. A significant usage gap exists between Bolton and Gay and the rest of Kansas City’s linebackers, though the team did use a third-round pick on rookie Leo Chenal. The Chiefs have used Chenal on 32 defensive plays this season. Darius Harris, a former UDFA who has bounced on and off the Chiefs’ practice squad during his career, has logged 18 defensive snaps thus far this year.

Chiefs’ LB Willie Gay Jr. Arrested For Misdemeanor Criminal Damage

News broke overnight that will have an effect on the availability for one of the Chief’s defensive starters this Sunday. Linebacker Willie Gay Jr. was arrested on Wednesday night for criminal damage under $1,000 dollars. 

As Pro Football Talk’s Michael Smith writes, the arrest took place at approximately 10:30 pm in Overland Park, Kansas. As of now, he remains in the Johnson County Detention Center awaiting bond. No charges have been laid yet.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has tweeted an update from Gay’s agent, Maxx Lepselter, which provides context on the incident. He states that the 23-year-old was visiting his son’s house and an argument with the child’s mother took place, during which Gay broke her vacuum. “No one was touched … beyond the broken appliance”, according to Lepselter. The Kansas City Star’s Sam McDowell tweets that, according to the police report, “the damage is to a vacuum, cell phone screen, wall/door frame and a humidifier”.

A Chiefs spokesperson has released the following statement: “The Chiefs are aware of LB Willie Gay Jr.’s reported overnight arrest on an alleged misdemeanor criminal damage charge and have no further comment at this time” (Twitter link via Herbie Teope of the Kansas City Star).

A 2020 second-round pick, Gay has started all but the first game of the 2021 campaign. In 12 regular season games, he totaled 48 tackles, four pass deflections and two interceptions. The Chiefs were able to win comfortably against the Steelers in the Wild Card round with Gay playing an unusually low number of snaps, but, in the event he were to be absent this Sunday, his presence would likely be felt more greatly against a potent Bills’ offense.

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/22/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances (including Christian McCaffrey and Travis Etienne), players activated from the list remain on IR:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Placed on list: T Le’Raven Clark

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/5/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

Washington Football Team

Chiefs Place LB Willie Gay On IR

A toe issue cropped up for Willie Gay recently, and it will require some time to heal. The Chiefs are placing the young linebacker on IR, ESPN’s Field Yates tweets.

This will knock Gay out of Kansas City’s first three games, dealing a blow to the two-time defending AFC champions’ defense. The 2020 second-round pick is set to play a key role for the Chiefs this year, but he will be on the shelf until at least October.

Andy Reid said Gay’s toe malady occurred during the Chiefs’ preseason finale. The Chiefs are in slightly better position to withstand this than they were last year. Anthony Hitchens is back for a fourth season in Missouri, while the team used a second-round pick on Mizzou linebacker Nick Bolton.

A Mississippi State alum, Gay played only 25% of the Chiefs’ defensive snaps as a rookie and missed the team’s three playoff games. Gay was in line to start, however, to begin Year 2. The IR placement certainly confirms this toe injury will require extensive recovery time, perhaps altering the Chiefs’ plans for the young defender this season.

Chiefs To Sign Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Wrap Draft Class

The Chiefs have verbally agreed to deals with all six players in their draft class, as Terez A. Paylor of Yahoo Sports tweets. Here’s the full rundown of the group, headlined by one of this year’s most intriguing rushers: 

1-32: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB (LSU)
2-63: Willie Gay Jr., LB (Mississippi State)
3-96: Lucas Niang, OT (TCU)
4-138: L’Jarius Sneed, S (Louisiana Tech)
5-177: Mike Danna, DE (Michigan)
7-237: Thakarius Keyes, CB (Tulane)

Don’t let Edwards-Helaire’s 5’7″ frame fool you – he’s tough, durable, and a proven three-down back. His agility and soft hands made him one of this year’s most coveted rookie RBs, though some evaluators were concerned about his speed. That’s not a huge problem in KC, where they already have ample quickness on offense.

The LSU product is expected to serve as the Chiefs’ top running back, ahead of Damien Williams and Darwin Thompson. Elijah McGuire, Darrel Williams, and former Raiders rusher DeAndre Washington are also on the offseason roster.