Tamba Hali walked back into the Chiefs facility and apologized this week, after missing the opener with a suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
“This is not the type of light they want the organization to be in,” Hali said of the Hunt family which owns the team, via Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star. “I’m truly sorry for the embarrassment. I just want to move forward and get better as a team and as an individual.”
For their part, his teammates were in a forgiving mood.
“Tamba has already made his apologies,” linebacker Derrick Johnson said. “We stick by Tamba all the way. He’s one of our brothers, one of our family members. We know he’s all-in with us, so we just can’t wait for him to go out and sell his heart out there on Sunday.”
The Chiefs obviously missed him last week, as the Falcons strafed them for 40 points. Having a guy who posted 26.5 sacks the last two seasons might have helped, as Matt Ryan had a comfortable pocket throughout the day.
Because league rules allow players on substance-abuse suspensions access to the team, Hali was able to attend meetings and work out at the facility, though he couldn’t practice or work with the team in the weight room. Nor could he attend Sunday’s game.
“It wasn’t fun screaming at the TV,” Hali said. “We played a good team. It’s always frustrating when I can’t be out there or any of the other players can’t be out there to contribute. They played as best they [could].
“I don’t think we played bad. I think that team we played [against] was able to execute. We just need to be on top of our game and that was something that was lacking.”
That, and one of their best players, of course.