On Monday, Sept. 19, the Kansas City Chiefs dealt a blow to their defense when the NFL suspended linebacker Willie Gay for Kansas City’s next four games.
Gay, 24, is tied for second on the Chiefs defense in tackles this season (16), and is tied for first in tackles for loss (2) and passes defensed (2). He’s also second among linebackers in snaps through two games (111), per Football Guys.
With the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Las Vegas Raiders and Buffalo Bills being the Chiefs’ opponents during Gay’s suspension, the tough road ahead is even tougher without Gay in the lineup.
Patrick Mahomes on Gay: ‘He’ll handle it the right way’
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was asked about Gay’s suspension during his first availability midway through Week 3
“Yeah, I think he’s going to do it the right way,” Mahomes said Wednesday, Sept. 21. “Obviously, the whole situation (regarding Gay’s suspension) was a bad situation and we don’t want that to happen. But at the same time, we love Willie as a guy and we want him to come back and still be a big part of this team. And, therefore, we will continue to advance against some tough opponents while he is gone.”
As for who will fill Gay’s shoes in the meantime, head coach Andy Reid said Wednesday that third-year linebacker Darius Harris will fill Gay’s role for the next four games. But Mahomes hopes the younger guys will step up, too.
“Hopefully those younger guys will step up and make plays happen when they get the chance.”
Twitter reacts to Gay’s suspension
Twitter users reacted to the news of Gay’s four-game suspension.
“Wait. So why did the league wait until now to suspend him mid-season? Shouldn’t it have been the first 4 games?” one Twitter user wrote.
“The whole story when a player gets penalized 400% worse for destruction of property off the field than a player for assaulting another human being on the field,” another user wrote in reference to the Tampa Bay catcher’s suspension Buccaneers tight end Mike Evans in Week 3. due to a fight with New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore in Week 2.
“Stupid. This was settled on June 21st. The NFL waited 2 weeks into the season and suspended him 4 games which means he’s out for the Bills vs Tampa game. So incredibly stupid . Looks like this moment was on purpose. All in a damn void,” another user wrote.
“Not only did he ‘break the void’ but it was a bully tactic and it was not okay,” another user wrote. “That being said … If this is worth four games, Dalvin Cook should be suspended at least as long as Deshaun for domestic violence. And Deshaun should never see the field again.”
“Aaron Donald had no business flipping his helmet on a Bengals player. Weird,” another user wrote.
“This is crazy. Weird timing and weird number of games compared to other suspensions,” another user wrote.