Kansas City Chiefs middle linebacker Willie Gay Jr. (50) stretches on the sideline before the NFL game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Bengals And The Kansas City Chiefs 459

Chiefs LB Willie Gay to play Sunday despite misdemeanor charges

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay will play Sunday night in the AFC divisional playoff game despite being charged with a misdemeanor earlier this week.

Head coach Andy Reid said Gay took part in practice on Friday and that it was Reid’s decision to have him play on Sunday when the Buffalo Bills (12-6) visit the Chiefs (13-5).

“I decided that after just hearing some of the information there,” Reid said.

Gay was charged with misdemeanor criminal damage after his arrest Wednesday night in Overland Park, Kan.

According to Johnson County authorities, Gay was charged with one count of criminal damage of less than $1,000 for damage to property that included a vacuum cleaner, a door frame and a wall.

Gay, 23, appeared in court Thursday afternoon and was released from detention on a $1,000 bond.

A representative for Gay told NFL Network that “no one was touched” during an argument between Gay and the mother of his son that resulted in the broken vacuum.

Gay, a second-round pick in 2020, started 11 of his 12 games in 2021 and registered 48 tackles, a half-sack and two interceptions.

Reid also said there’s a chance running backs Clyde Edwards-Helaire (left collarbone) and Darrel Williams (toe) will be available for Sunday’s game.

Both players took part in practice on Friday.

On the season, Williams ran for 558 yards with six touchdowns in 17 games. Edwards-Hilaire played in just 10 games but rushed for 517 yards and four touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Jan 16, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs middle linebacker Willie Gay Jr. (50) reacts before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in an AFC Wild Card playoff football game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs LB Willie Gay arrested on criminal damage charges

Kansas City Chiefs starting linebacker Willie Gay faces a misdemeanor charge of criminal damage after his arrest Wednesday night in Overland Park, Kan.

According to Johnson County authorities, Gay was charged with one count of criminal damage of less than $1,000 for damage to property including a vacuum cleaner, a door frame and a wall.

A representative for Gay told NFL Network that “no one was touched” during an argument that led to the veteran player’s arrest.

Gay, 23, has a court appearance scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

The Chiefs said they were aware of the situation but did comment on Gay’s status for Sunday’s AFC divisional playoff game against the visiting Buffalo Bills.

Gay, a second-round pick in 2020, started 11 of his 12 games in 2021 and registered 48 tackles, a half-sack and two interceptions.

Back in October, Gay missed a practice for personal reasons and posted on social media that he was struggling with his mental health.

“I love you all just know my mental health is F’d up,” he wrote on Twitter on Oct. 8.

–Field Level Media

Dec 13, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Willie Gay Jr. (50) looks on prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs LB Willie Gay focusing on mental health

On the same day Willie Gay missed practice for personal reasons, the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker indicated he is struggling with his mental health.

“I love you all just know my mental health is F’d up,” he posted Friday on Twitter.

Gay, 23, returned to practice earlier this week after spending the first four weeks of the season on injured reserve with turf toe.

A second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, he started eight of his 16 games as a rookie last season and contributed 39 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble for the AFC champions. He missed the playoffs and Super Bowl LV with ankle and knee injuries.

Kansas City (2-2) hosts the Buffalo Bills (3-1) in an AFC Championship Game rematch on Sunday night.

–Field Level Media