Adam Teicher | ESPN.com
“I’ll be ready to go,” said Hali, who sprained his ankle during last week’s loss to the San Diego Chargers. “I love the game. The training staff has done a great job of jumping on the injury and being proactive. I’ve been here early, in the pool and running. I’m feeling good.
“I know I can push off. I haven’t cut yet. I know I can push off and run forward. I haven’t run yet, but I believe I can do it because I’ve been doing it on the treadmill.”
Coach Andy Reid said Hali, who has nine sacks this season, has a “good chance” of being available Sunday, when the teams — both 9-2 — will play for first place in the AFC West. Hali participated in the walk-through session the Chiefs held before practice.
“Every day he has made progress,” Reid said. “That he went through the walk-through I think was a big step. We’ve got to make sure that he’s safe to be out there. We’re not going to put him in a position where he furthers the injury. But his desire is great to play in the game.”
Kansas City’s other injured linebacker, Justin Houston, also did not practice Wednesday. He was to have an MRI on a dislocated elbow suffered in the loss to San Diego.
Hali left the Chargers game early in the second quarter with the Chiefs ahead 7-3. He was blocked on the play in question by San Diego’s D.J. Fluker. His foot stuck in the ground and his ankle rolled.
“A lot of pain,” he said. “[The Chiefs’ medical staff] was trying to get me back out there, doing all kinds of little things they do, trying to see if I could push off on it. I couldn’t. I wasn’t too optimistic.
“Stuff like that, I felt I could play through it when I got it taped. But I could barely walk.”
The Chiefs led 14-3 later in the first half when Houston left the game. The Chargers scored 38 points after that, including the winning touchdown with less than 30 seconds left.
“Justin and I were in the training room, just watching the game,” Hali said. “We could tell that we were needed in the game with our experience and how much we’re hungry to get to the quarterback and just knowing what to do out there.
“Our offense played well, and those are the types of games you like to be in, because when they put us up like that we can just pin our ears back.”
- Covered Chiefs for the past 20 seasons for Kansas City Star
- Joined ESPN in 2013