Chiefs move on without Hunt
The Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday will play their first game of the season without star running back Kareem Hunt, who was released by the team on Friday.
KANSAS CITY, MO. — Kareem Hunt went from the Kansas City Chiefs' practice field to looking for a job in about six hours, a spectacular fall for the NFL's reigning rushing champion.
The Pro Bowl running back had been preparing for a game at Oakland when, unbeknownst to him, a months-old video surfaced online. The footage from a Cleveland hotel security camera showed Hunt shoving and kicking a woman, with police ultimately responding. No charges were filed.
The Chiefs immediately sent Hunt home as the video from TMZ ripped across social media. An organization that prides itself on providing second chances said in a statement late Friday it had released the 23-year-old star.
The question now for both the Chiefs and Hunt is simple: What's next?
The Chiefs (9-2) are barreling toward the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, and the loss of their leading rusher is substantial. Hunt already had run for more than 800 yards and had 14 total touchdowns, helping Kansas City form one of the league's most dynamic offenses.
Yet the falloff to Spencer Ware isn't that significant.
The Chiefs' backup was the unquestioned starter heading into last season, even after the team made Hunt their third-round pick. It wasn't until Ware — whose skill set closely mirrors that of Hunt — went down with a season-ending knee injury in the preseason that the rookie took over.
The Chiefs are also confident in their backups — former Oklahoma star Damien Williams and Darrel Williams.
So that is what's next for the Chiefs. What happens to Hunt?
The Chiefs and the NFL knew what happened in February in Cleveland, and the organization spoke to Hunt on several occasions before handling discipline internally. But neither the team nor the league had seen the video before it became public Friday.
The NFL made multiple attempts to obtain it, but were denied by the hotel and Cleveland police, a person familiar with the case told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.
Hunt issued a brief apology late Friday, a small first step toward getting another chance. But as the Chiefs get ready to play in Oakland (2-9), Hunt will be watching on television.
There are many more steps before Hunt takes the field again.
If it ever happens.
Running back Kareem Hunt, who was released by the Chiefs on Friday, has 824 rushing yards and 14 total touchdowns this season.