KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and linebacker Nick Bolton spoke to reporters on Wednesday for the first time about the loss of linebacker Willie Gay Jr. after he was suspended by the NFL for four games on Monday for violating the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy.
"He loves to play the game," Reid said, "It will be a long four weeks for him."
Reid also detailed that Gay is allowed back into the facility in two weeks, halfway through his suspension.
Reid did not know why that is the case and said that was a question General Manager Brett Veach would be able to provide more details on.
From an on-field aspect, however, Reid was confident other players like third-year linebacker Darius Harris could step up during his absence.
Mahomes echoed Reid's comments about the Chiefs' next man up mentality.
"We expect the young guys to step up and take advantage of their opportunity," Mahomes said.
Mahomes thinks Gay will handle the situation the right way and that the team will step up while he’s out.
Bolton also expects the team to stay competitive in Gay's absence.
"We have a lot of guys coming in every single day, putting the work in," Bolton said. "When we get Willie back, we'll be ready to go. He's gonna be missed, but we gotta keep going."
Bolton told reporters that he did reach out to Gay as well.
"I've been checking up on him as a person and a father," Bolton said. "I've been making sure he been keeping his head up, and we're gonna keep moving forward."
Gay will miss upcoming games at Indianapolis and Tampa Bay, as well as home games against Las Vegas and Buffalo. He is eligible to return on Oct. 17.