Kansas City Chiefs OLB Tamba Hali suspended for Week 1

By Marina

The NFL has suspended Pro Bowl outside linebacker Tamba Hali of the Kansas City Chiefs for the season-opener against the Atlanta Falcons for violating its policy on substance abuse.

The league announced the suspension today without disclosing details.

Hali will miss the Sept. 9 game against the Falcons without pay, and be fined an additional game check. He will be eligible to return the following day and is still allowed to participate in preseason practices and games. The Chiefs play the Seattle Seahawks on Friday night.

Hali is the Chiefs’ best pass rusher and reached his first Pro Bowl last season alongside fellow linebacker Derrick Johnson.

The former first-round draft pick has started every game he’s played the past six seasons. The past two years have been his best as he registered 14 1/2 sacks two years ago and 12 last season.

He’s racked up 266 tackles and 53 1/2 sacks in his career, along with an interception and a safety. He’s also forced 22 fumbles.

Hali signed a five-year, $60 million contract last season with $35 million guaranteed.

In Hali’s absence, Andy Studebaker, a former sixth-round draft pick that has turned into a valuable backup in Kansas City will take over the starting job. Studebaker started seven of the 54 games he’s played over four seasons. He’s not known to rush the passer like Hali.

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