Kansas City Chiefs OLB Tamba Hali has been suspended by the NFL for one game for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse, the team confirmed Monday. Hali was suspended without pay.
Hali will be eligible to return to the team on 9/10, following the team’s first game of the season against the Atlanta Falcons.
Wow. I am speechless.
This is a bad, bad, bad deal for the Chiefs. One game isn’t that big of a deal but Hali is hands down the most important player on the Kansas City defense. Teams have to game plan around his pass rushing skills. Even with Justin Houston coming on strong, you have to believe the Falcons’ chance of beating KC on opening day just went up significantly.
We have no information on why exactly Hali was suspended. The fact that it is only one game is a bit strange. When WR Dwayne Bowe was suspended for taking a banned dietetic, he was suspended for four games.
There is a chance Hali and his camp could appeal the deal, thus putting off the suspension for a week or two. If they can swing it so that he can play in the Falcons game and then sit the Bills game the following week, things might work out better for the Chiefs.
The NFL says Hali will be able to continue to play in the preseason and can practice with the team. He was also fined an additional game check, in addition to the one he’ll miss when he sits out.
We’ll keep an eye out for more information on this.
For now, what do you think of this?
Update #1: After a QUICK read of the NFL’s policy on substance abuse, it appears as though Hali has five days to appeal, if he hasn’t already.
Albert Breer of NFL.com has tweeted that one-game suspensions are usually for drugs and not PEDs. He indicated that the one-game suspension could be the result of a reduction in punishment based on an appeal that has already gone down.
Update #2: Kent Babb of the KC Start talked with NFL spokesmen Greg Ailello. He told Babb that Hali’s suspension is a unique situation that isn’t really defined under the substance abuse policy.