KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tamba Hali is apparently back, for real this time, for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon in the middle of the team’s practice that Hali returned to practice. The 12-year veteran did not appear on the field during the stretching and the first two segments of practice open to the media.
His return to the field brings an end to not just a months-long saga about his availability for the 2017 but also a brief two-day soap opera. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Hali’s imminent return on Wednesday.
But head coach Andy Reid said he wasn’t sure what was happening with Hali on Wednesday.
“I’m not even dealing with it,” Reid said. “(General manager) Brett Veach is dealing with all that. I don’t know, honestly I don’t know exactly the situation and what’s going on right now. That’s between Brett and Tamba and his representatives.”
On Thursday, Hali returned to practice.
That move gives the Chiefs a three-week practice window to return Hali to the active roster. He does not count toward the 53-man roster until the team activates him, which the team can do at anytime during the next three weeks.
Hali’s return comes at a curious time for the Chiefs. Linebacker Dee Ford left Monday’s game with back tightness. Reid described it as an aggravation of the injury that caused Ford to miss two games earlier this season. Ford underwent test this week to determine the extent of the damage. He did not practice Wednesday or Thursday.
Hali’s reemergence adds depth to the team’s pass rush at a key juncture for the club. With Ford out, the team turned to Tanoh Kpassagnon for 10 snaps Monday night in passing situations, giving the rookie his first significant playing time of the season.