Chiefs continue to ease Tamba Hali into action

Jan. 3, 2016; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium. (Emily DeShazer/The Topeka Capital-Journal)

Jan. 3, 2016; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium. (Emily DeShazer/The Topeka Capital-Journal)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali hasn’t played a lot of snaps the past two games, but circumstances may have a lot to do with it.

Hali played 14 snaps in the season finale, a week following surgery on his right thumb, and then played 15 snaps in the playoff game against the Houston Texans on the indoor turf at NRG Stadium.

The Chiefs are set to face the New England Patriots on natural grass at Gillette Stadium, but whether the 32-year-old Hali sees more action remains to be seen.

“We’ll just see how it goes and how he’s feeling,” coach Andy Reid said. “We’ll work it from there.”

In the addition to the late-season surgery on his right thumb, Hali has been dealing with swelling in his knee and typically doesn’t practice indoors, such as the case Tuesday.

The Chiefs have eased Hali into action the past two games and utilized a rotation at the outside linebacker position against the Texans.

Justin Houston led the way with 44 snaps; Dee Ford saw action on 35 snaps; Frank Zombo played 33 snaps; and Hali’s 15.

Reid made it clear the snap distributions are a result of down situations and Hali’s knee.

“He wants to play, that’s not the situation,” Reid said. “We’ll just see how the third-down situations go or if we decide to play him on first and second down, we’ll see how that goes. It all depends on how his knee’s rolling there.”

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Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.

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