KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs Linebacker Willie Gay Jr. has a “pretty good chance” of playing against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday after a four-game absence, according to head coach Andy Reid.
“He’s brought good energy and he’s taken all the reps,” Reid said on Friday. “He’s done a nice job.”
Gay finished serving his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s player conduct policy and returned to practice this week. The Chiefs currently have a roster exemption for Gay, which means he isn’t on the 53-player roster or listed on the club’s injury report. The club has a free spot on the active roster but must activate Gay by 3 p.m. central time Saturday for him to play against the 49ers.
Reid said the Chiefs have missed Gay’s enthusiasm.
“He’s got a great attitude, he’s a positive kid,” Reid said. “He has that childish personality, he brings good energy to the room, so it was good to get him back in here the last couple of weeks.”
Safety Justin Reid said he felt a renewed sense of energy on the practice field this week with the return of Gay, whom teammates refer to as “the juice man.”
“He brings a lot of positive energy,” Justin Reid said. “He loves being on the field. He has an infectious personality, an infectious energy about him whenever he’s on the (field). I think it’s going to be good for us.”
The outlook for cornerback Trent McDuffie appears more cloudy, however. McDuffie has missed the past five games with a hamstring injury but finished his second week of practice on Friday. Reid was less optimistic about his return on Sunday, however.
“We’ll see,” Reid said.
McDuffie remains on injured reserve, however, and the Chiefs would need to add him to the active roster to play Sunday. If the Chiefs choose to active Gay and McDuffie this weekend, it would require freeing an additional roster spot.
Safety Bryan Cook, who missed the Week 6 contest against Buffalo due to a concussion, has cleared the league’s concussion protocol and will play against the 49ers.
Chiefs injury report
OUT: CB Rashad Fenton
QUESTIONABLE: LG Joe Thuney and DE Mike Danna
Did not practice: CB Rashad Fenton (ankle)
Limited participation: DE Mike Danna (calf)
Full participation: LG Joe Thuney (ankle), S Bryan Cook (concussion), CB L’Jarius Sneed (knee), K Harrison Butker (left ankle), WR Mecole Hardman (heel), RG Trey Smith (pectoral)
49ers injury report
OUT: DT Arik Armstead
QUESTIONABLE: CB Mooney Ward and S Talanoa Hufanga
Did not practice: DT Arik Armstead (foot/ankle)
Limited participation: S Talanoa Hufanga (concussion), CB Mooney Ward (groin), S Jimmie Ward (hand) and RB Christian McCaffrey (travel)
Full participation: DE Samson Ebukam (achilles), RT Mike McGlinchey (calf), DE Nick Bosa (groin), DE Drake Jackson (knee), LT Trent Williams (ankle), LB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles (knee), TE Tyler Kroft (knee) and TE Charlie Woerner (shoulder)