The K.C. Chiefs already knew that Willie Gay‘s injury could be something that lingered into the regular season, but his toe injury has turned out to be a bigger deal than expected with the news that he’s landed on injured reserve.
Gay originally hurt his toe during the team’s final preseason game, a win over the visiting Minnesota Vikings. From there, the Chiefs said they would need a few days before finding clarity on exactly how long Gay was going to be out, but after a couple practices, it’s now clear that the team’s linebacker will need significant time to heal.
Coming into the 2021 season, Gay was looking like a sensational second-year player ready to break out in a big way in the heart of the Chiefs defense. This preseason, he looked just like the sort of impact player the Chiefs envisioned when they selected him in the second round fo the 2020 draft.
Willie Gay will miss the KC Chiefs first three games on IR.
When healthy, Gay is a big, physical player who also is blessed with sideline-to-sideline speed, giving the Chiefs the sort of all-around performer they haven’t had since Derrick Johnson roamed the heart of defenses.
The Chiefs are not without some promising performers at linebacker given that Anthony Hitchens played very well last season for the Chiefs and is motivated in his contract season. In addition, the Chiefs will now likely get a very close look at this year’s second round pick in Nick Bolton, although they are different types of linebackers.
By placing Gay on injured reserve after the active rosters were originally due, the Chiefs are allowed to bring him back after missing three games. That means the Chiefs will be without him in contests against the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, and Los Angeles Chargers. Gay could make his season debut against the Philadelphia Eagles, then, in Week 4.