Chiefs place LB Willie Gay Jr. on injured reserve

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The Kansas City Chiefs have made a roster move, sending a promising second-year linebacker to the injured reserve list.

According to the NFL’s official transaction report, LB Willie Gay Jr. is being sent to injured reserve. Chiefs HC Andy Reid recently revealed that Gay suffered a toe injury during the preseason finale against the Minnesota Vikings.

On Tuesday, Reid said in regards to Gay that the team would, “see how he does here in the next couple of days.”

When the Chiefs kept six linebackers on the 53-man roster, we predicted this move might be on the way. Asked whether Gay’s injury had anything to do with decisions related to roster construction, Chiefs GM Brett Veach seemed to indicate that they did plan for an extended absence.

“I’d rather have Rick [Burkholder] and coach [Andy Reid] talk about that,” Veach said. “I know it’s kind of their deal there, but certainly, there’s some things we’re working through there, and Coach I’m sure will have an update in the next 24 hours there. I don’t know if we have all the information, but it does factor into play in regard to what I just said a few minutes ago, just make sure we’re not caught short-handed Week 1 and make sure we have depth at all of these positions. Hopefully, it works out and we’re carrying extra at a certain position, but if not, we’re prepared. So, I’ll let Coach and Rick handle that area, but again, all these things factor into play, and certainly getting up to speed and being deep at a position right off the bat in week one is part of the process.”

Gay looked like one of the most improved defenders at training camp at times this year. This also marks his second injury of the offseason, following a concussion suffered during training camp. Gay also missed the playoffs last season after suffering a meniscus injury in practice.

As a result of his placement on injury reserve, Gay will miss the first three weeks of the season. After three weeks, Gay will be eligible to return from injured reserve assuming he is healthy and ready to go. During that three-week span, the Chiefs’ opponents include two run-heavy teams in the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens.

Look for rookie LB Nick Bolton and veteran LB Ben Niemann to pick up the slack in Gay’s absence.

List

Meet the Chiefs' 53-man roster following final cuts