Tamba Hali returns to Kansas City Chiefs at perfect time

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 16: Tamba Hali
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 16: Tamba Hali /

Tamba Hali will return to the Kansas City Chiefs practice and the news comes at the perfect time for a team in need of help at pass rusher.

After spending the entire first half of the season on the Physically Unable to Play list, Tamba Hali is finally making his long-awaited return to practice for the Kansas City Chiefs. The news comes at the perfect time for a team that has been hurting for some time to generate much in the way of a pass rush.

Hali can begin to practice now, as Adam Schefter reports, but it might be another week or more until he ends up playing for the Chiefs, depending on how game-ready his body is after missing so much time. If he sits out this Sunday’s contest against the Dallas Cowboys, he will have another week off with the coming bye week before gearing up for the final stretch run of the season heading toward the playoffs.

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Justin Houston has been every bit the player the Chiefs have needed him to be this offseason, but nothing else about the team’s pass rush has went according to plan in 2017. Chris Jones is still a world-class talent but hasn’t put it together in terms of consistency in his second season like many predicted. Second round pick Tanoh Kpassagnon was far too raw to contribute anything on the field during the team’s first half season. Dee Ford has missed multiple games with a back injury, and of course Hali has been missing. It also doesn’t help that Eric Berry was lost for the year in Week 1.

Adding Hali for the final 7 or 8 games will make a world of difference in terms of having a fresh pass rusher able to rotate with Houston and Ford, if healthy, alongside Kpassagnon, who played a season high amount of snaps just last week. Clearly the coaching staff is feeling a bit more comfortable with the Villanova product out there and his development in tandem with Hali’s return could be a huge boost for the Chiefs down the stretch.

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Last year, playing in just 50 percent of the snaps on the season, Hali still ranked No. 21 overall among edge defenders by Pro Football Focus with 43 total quarterback pressures. In other words, his 3.5 total sacks last year didn’t tell the full story of his ability to still collapse the pocket or force a poor throw.

Hali has 89.5 career sacks, all with the Kansas City Chiefs.