The Kansas City Chiefs hope to make their third consecutive run to the Super Bowl during the 2021 season, which will get underway in just over a week. Unfortunately, the team will be without a key defender for at least the first few weeks of the new year.
The Chiefs placed starting linebacker Willie Gay on injured reserve on Thursday, according to the NFL’s daily transaction report. That means he’ll miss at least the next three games, including Kansas City’s season opener against the Cleveland Browns next Sunday.
Gay is reportedly dealing with a banged up toe that he injured in the Chiefs final preseason game last weekend. The linebacker’s toe is clearly hurt enough to sideline him for a few weeks, so Kansas City opted to send him to the injured list.
The Chiefs have placed starting LB Willie Gay on IR, meaning he is out for at least 3 games.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 2, 2021
The Chiefs will miss Gay once the season gets underway. The 2020 second-round pick was clearly in line to start Week 1 of the regular season after his productive rookie year.
However, the Chiefs won’t want to rush Gay back too quickly. The 23-year-old already needed significant surgery this spring after he tore his meniscus while recovering from an ankle injury. That process caused him to miss the entirety of Kansas City’s playoff run during the 2020 season.
When Gay was on the field last year, he proved to be a strong addition to the Chiefs defense. The former Mississippi State Bulldog racked up 39 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble while making eight starts and playing in all 16 regular season games in 2020.
Gay will be out for at least the Chiefs season opener against the Browns, a Week 2 match-up with the Baltimore Ravens and a home game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Kansas City’s other linebackers will need to step up in a major way in his absence.
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