The Kansas City Chiefs will be without one of the league’s best pass rushers when they open the season after the NFL suspended LB Tamba Hali one game for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse.
Hali will also be fined one additional game check for the offense, though he can continue to practice and play with the Chiefs throughout the remainder of the preseason. After sitting out the season opener against the Atlanta Falcons on September 9, he can rejoin the team on September 10.
GM Scott Pioli expressed the team’s disappointment in a statement.
“Tamba’s situation is unfortunate. Obviously, we are disappointed and will miss him during this suspension, but the NFL’s policies are very clear and we respect the league’s decision in this matter. We are unable to comment further on this matter or any aspect of the NFL’s Drug Policy.”
I think using words like “unfortunate” and “disappointed” don’t quite do this one justice.
You could have told me today that Matt Cassel was arrested for robbing a bank and it might not have shocked me as much as this one. During his time in the NFL, Hali has been nothing but a model citizen, doing everything he can to elevate himself to one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.
It’s impossible to quantify how much this hurts a Chiefs team that desperately needs to get out of the gate quickly in order to help flush away the disappointment of last season.
It’s also important to note that this also puts Hali one more violation away from a much steeper penalty that could cripple the Kansas City defense.