Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel usually makes small talk with reporters as he begins his press conferences.
Monday, there was no point in pleasantries.
“I’ve been better, to tell the truth,” Crennel said in the wake of outside linebacker Tamba Hali’s suspension. “The NFL’s substance-abuse policy . . . was violated and there’s a consequence to be paid for it. Tamba will pay the consequence.”
Hali will be suspended one game and docked an additional game check for violating the league’s subtance abuse policy.
He issued a statement before practice which suggested he won’t be appealing.
“I apologize to my teammates, the Hunt family, the Kansas City Chiefs organization and most importantly, our fans,” Hali said. “I accept the discipline from the league and will return week two of the NFL season with a commitment to erase this mistake with my play on the field and my conduct off it.”
Hali’s absence from the opener against the Falcons will create a huge void in terms of pass rush.
His 12.0 sacks were second in the AFC last year, and he’ll be replaced by Andy Studebaker, who has 2.5 sacks in four seasons. If they weren’t playing a team with a suspect line, it would be a bigger loss, but the questions the suspension create loom larger than an individual game.