During his usual Monday morning Zoom press conference, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid essentially confirmed that linebacker Willie Gay Jr. would be activated to the active roster this week following his four-game suspension away from the team. Gay had violated the league’s personal conduct policy.
Reid did note he had yet to talk to general manager Brett Veach about it — but presumed that’s what would take place. Over the stretch without one of their most athletic players, the Chiefs went 2-2, winning against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Las Vegas Raiders while losing to the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills.
While Gay was out of the lineup, linebacker Nick Bolton guided Darius Harris, his primary replacement. Bolton recorded 40 tackles (28 solo) during that span.
“Bolton’s got such a good feel for the game that I think you saw even more maybe of his leadership when Harris came in,” began Reid, “although Harris is smart, too. And [Leo] Chenal is. That’s a pretty good group there. But you got to see [Bolton] perform with other guys. And he’s very close with Willie. They’ve known each other a long time, so they’re very close. It was just a little different flavor but still very productive. I think just adding Willie back in there is another good athlete into that mix and that never hurts, so we’ll look forward to getting him back in there.”
Gay returned to the Chiefs’ facility to be with the team on October 3. Now he can once again take the practice field heading into the Chiefs’ Week 7 game against the San Francisco 49ers.
“I’m glad the league let’s them back in with the group,” said Reid. “That’s a good place for him to be and stay in tune with the game, so when he has an opportunity to get back in, he knows what’s going on. Things go fast in the National Football League, and a week — it seems like an eternity, and things change. You’re always growing in certain areas, so to be back in the room, at least he can kind of grow with the guys scheme-wise and do what he can do on the field here. We’ll just see where he’s at on the field this week.
In his two games played — both wins for the Chiefs — Gay complied 16 tackles (eight solo).