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The Kansas City Chiefs lost rookie LB Willie Gay Jr. to injury ahead of the playoff run last season.
Gay missed most of Week 17 and both the divisional and AFC title game with an ankle sprain. He was trending toward healthy until an entirely different injury knocked him out for Super Bowl LV. He suffered a torn meniscus during practice and just like that his season was over.
Gay spoke to reporters for the first time since his injury and even he doesn’t quite recall how or when the injury happened.
“Well I can’t really tell you—I don’t even know what really happened with it,” Gay explained to reporters. “I tore my meniscus. I don’t even know if it was at practice or just walking around after.”
Gay has spent the offseason rehabbing and he was ready for action when OTAs came around. He credits Chiefs athletic trainer Julie Frymyer for getting him back in working order and to 100% ahead of the season.
“But all I do know is during this offseason period with this training staff, we’ve been working nonstop, me and Ms. Julie (Frymyer) and all her help that she has,” Gay said “It’s been a real grind and that’s why I’m here today, 100 percent.”
With Gay healthy for OTAs, he is focused on making improvements to his game. He played less than 25% of the Chiefs’ defensive snaps as a rookie and wants to ensure more playing time during his second season.
“Really all I want to do is just my job,” Gay said. “Be able to be counted on and just do what I do to the best of my ability. Whether it’s tackling, whether it’s covering guys, blitzing, just continue to improve each and every day on the details of plays and execute every little detail that I do have with my assignments and all.”
Expectations are high for Gay in Year 2 and with his injury now behind him, he should be able to meet those expectations as an impact player on the defensive side of the ball.