Once Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali returned to the practice field for the club this week, the team wasted no time putting him back on the active roster on Saturday afternoon, just in time for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys. The placed cornerback D.J. White on waivers to accommodate Hali on the roster.
The team returned Hali to the practice field Thursday, which started a three-week clock to return him the active roster or shut him down for the season. After two workouts, Hali
Hali delivered a quick answer when asked how he felt coming off the field following practice Friday.
“I feel great,” he said with a smile.
Hali did not practice with the team through training camp, the preseason or the first eight weeks of the regular season. The team placed Hali on the physically unable to perform list upon his arrival at training camp.
Head coach Andy Reid said Hali spent Thursday and Friday knocking off rust from the extended layoff.
“We’re literally taking this day-by-day and just seeing,” Reid said. “Let’s just see what happens. See how it goes here and play it day-by-day.
“It’s really how everything holds up down there,” Reid said, indicating Hali’s knees.
The veteran pass rusher’s return comes at a time when the Chiefs need reinforcements in their linebacker crew. The team ruled out Dee Ford for Sunday’s game with a back injury, and listed Justin Houston as questionable for the second week in a row. That leaves Frank Zombo and rookie Tanoh Kpassagnon as the team’s only health outside linebackers.
The Chiefs did not indicate if Hali would play Sunday, but the roster move suggests the team plans for him to appear in the active lineup.
Hali made waves during the offseason when he used a series of social media posts and an interview on a podcast for a self-described rant. Hali, who played just seven snaps in the team’s playoff loss to Pittsburgh, said he didn’t want to feel phased out. He also challenged his teammates as well.
“I feel like I can still play,” Hali said upon his arrival at training camp in July. “That was my rant, that’s why I went on a rant because I know I can still play. I just don’t know how the team wants to use.”
White, a sixth-round draft pick for the Chiefs in 2016 from Georgia Tech, had yet to appear in a game for the Chiefs this season. He played 11 games as a rookie last season, picking up 10 tackles along with an interception and three broken up passes. The return of cornerback Steven Nelson last week from injured reserve provided the team with added depth in the secondary.