Chiefs start LB Willie Gay four-game ban by NFL

Kansas City, Mo. — Linebacker Willie Gay of the Chiefs was banned from the NFL for four games on Monday for violating his personal conduct policy.

Gay was arrested in January in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, and charged with a felony with less than $1,000 in damages. Gay’s representative, Maxx Lepselter, said at the time that Gay broke a vacuum belonging to his son’s mother during an argument in which no one was injured.

Gay agreed to a diversion program in June to resolve the criminal case.

There was no appeal against the penalty, so Gay will miss Sunday’s game in Indianapolis, along with games against Tampa Bay, Las Vegas and Buffalo.

NFL rules prohibit him from interacting with the team for the first two weeks.

The Chiefs, who parted ways with veteran Anthony Hitchens after last season, are counting heavily on Gay to help cement the linebacker spot alongside sophomore pro Nick Bolton. Gay started their first two games against the Cardinals and Chargers and is tied for second on the team in tackles, loss tackles and defended passes.

“I definitely feel like my role has increased,” Gay acknowledged during the training camp. “I feel like me and Nick have a bigger role to play and lead this defense, lead this team on the defensive and just do what we need to do to make sure we’re in a position to lead .”

Third-round pick Leo Chenal is the most likely candidate to replace Gay in the lineup. The Chiefs also have Elijah Lee and Darius Harris, who play mostly special teams, and rookie Jack Cochrane on the roster.

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