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Report: Chiefs LB Willie Gay Jr. Arrested in Misdemeanor Criminal Damage Case

The Chiefs' second-year linebacker's arrest comes just days before the team's divisional round playoff game.

As the Kansas City Chiefs prepare for Sunday's divisional round matchup with the Buffalo Bills, an off-field incident could now impact the team. Linebacker Willie Gay Jr. was arrested in Overland Park and subsequently booked for 'misdemeanor criminal damage' according to KCTV5, Kansas City's CBS affiliate. 

Gay reportedly spent the night at the Johnson County Detention Center. Neither the Overland Park Police Department nor the Johnson County Sheriff's office has provided any updates as to Gay's situation as of the publishing of this story.

Shain Bergan of KCTV5 later tweeted more details of Gay's arrest.

"Charging documents say Willie Gay damaged a vacuum cleaner, wall and door frame during a confrontation with a woman," Bergan tweeted. "It's being classified as a domestic violence offense. Gay has a scheduled court appearance for 2:30 p.m. today in Johnson County."

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network provided an update via Maxx Lepselter, Willie Gay's representative, via Twitter:

"Per Willie Gay’s rep Maxx Lepselter, Gay was at his son’s house visiting," Rapoport tweeted. "He and the mother got into an argument, during which he broke her vacuum. 'No one was touched … beyond the broken appliance' per Lepselter. Gay was charged with destruction of property of less than $1,000."

Herbie Teope of The Kansas City Star tweeted that the Chiefs are aware of Gay's arrest "and have no further comment at this time."

Sam McDowell of The Kansas City Star tweeted more details of the damage, according to an Overland Park Police Department offense report.

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"The damage is to a vacuum, cell phone screen, wall/door frame and a humidifier, per an OP PD offense report," McDowell tweeted.

McDowell later tweeted that "no drugs, alcohol or weapon [were] involved in the incident Wednesday night, according to the Overland Park Police Department offense report."

Rob Collins and Harold Kuntz of FOX 4 Kansas City tweeted a longer statement from Gay's management, who is quoted as saying "all should be resolved today with no further issues."

"Willie was at his sons house visiting," Lepselter said, quoted by Collins and Kuntz. "He and the mother got into an argument during which he broke her vacuum. No one was touched, nothing happened beyond broken appliance. She called cops about it and they took him in on misdemeanor destruction of property of less than $1000. Likely just pays a fine and replaces vacuum. Nothing more, all should be resolved today with no further issues."

On Thursday afternoon, Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was asked about Gay's status and what the team would do if he were to be unavailable on Sunday. Spagnuolo said he would leave any commenting up to head coach Andy Reid, but that they operated Thursday's practice as they do when a player is absent due to injury.

Gay pleads not guilty

Gay plead not guilty during his court appearance on Thursday, as reported by Todd Leabo of Sports Radio 810 WHB and others. Leabo tweeted that Gay "should be released this afternoon," with Gay's next court date scheduled for March 2.

Gay's growing role with the KC defense

Gay, who was drafted by the Chiefs in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, had a slow start to his rookie year. As a sophomore, a foot injury held him back for a few weeks into the 2021 campaign. As the year has progressed, so has Gay. He's now emerged as a centerpiece and a rangy, athletic linebacker in Steve Spagnuolo's defense. 

Last week in Kansas City's Wild-Card round win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Gay racked up a pair of tackles and a forced fumble. On the year, he amassed a pair of interceptions and 48 tackles despite seeing his snap counts fluctuate throughout the season. Gay's speed and overall athletic profile are standout traits in the Chiefs' defense.

If Gay is to miss Sunday's game against the Bills, there is no direct replacement for him. The duo of veteran Anthony Hitchens and rookie Nick Bolton would undoubtedly still see the field a ton, but Ben Niemann would likely be the next man up if the Chiefs do face Buffalo without Gay.