Willie Gay injured during Chiefs game vs Chargers

The Chiefs have lost linebacker Willie Gay to injury during the team’s game against the Chargers.

The Kansas City Chiefs lost another linebacker to injury on Sunday afternoon when they watched Willie Gay leave in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 17.

The Kansas City Chiefs now find themselves in a bind as they still have three quarters left to play against the Chargers with only two healthy linebackers—and even saying that much is a stretch. Darius Harris is active for the Chiefs and already playing and the team is now leaning on Damien Wilson to return to the field after missing the last few games with a knee injury. The best approach there would have been to keep Wilson out for another couple weeks of rest, but Gay’s injury forced the Chiefs hand here.

The linebacking corps for the Chiefs is already severely limited with Anthony Hitchens still stuck on the reserve/COVID list. Last week, Ben Niemann was also lost to a hamstring injury. It’s a bit of a surprise that Omari Cobb was not made available once again from the practice squad, but perhaps Wilson is more ready than anyone outside of Arrowhead realized.

The Chiefs will certainly hope to get Gay back on the field as soon as possible in the postseason, so they are fortunate to have the first-round bye next week to help their defenders heal. Gay is the most athletic linebacker on the Chiefs and has looked better with playing time. He could be an important defender for Steve Spagnuolo in the playoffs as the Chiefs attempt to defend their Super Bowl victory.

Gay was the Chiefs’ second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.