Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Charles Omenihu, a free-agent signing earlier this offseason, was suspended for the first six weeks of the 2023 season by the NFL on Friday for a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.
Omenihu was arrested in January on suspicion of domestic violence in a situation involving his girlfriend at his home. He was a member of the San Francisco 49ers at the time and played in their final game last season, a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game, despite the arrest.
The first regular-season game Omenihu can play for the Chiefs will be in Week 7 when they host the Los Angeles Chargers, and he is eligible to practice with the team during training camp and can play throughout the preseason. He will miss three home games and three road games during his suspension, including the first game of the year on opening night against the Detroit Lions and a divisional matchup against the Denver Broncos in Week 6.
Omenihu signed a two-year deal with the Chiefs in March when free agency began, worth $16 million total with $8.6 million fully guaranteed. Last season in San Francisco, he set career highs in sacks, total tackles and number of snaps played. He was drafted by the Houston Texans in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL draft and spent the first two and a half years of his career there before being traded to the 49ers midway through the 2021 season.
The Chiefs will have to rely on plenty of youth at their defensive end spots with Omenihu suspended to start the year. George Karlaftis is entering his second season after starting every game in 2022, while Kansas City also drafted a pair of defensive ends this year: Felix Anudike-Uzomah from Kansas State (first round) and B.J. Thompson from Stephen F. Austin (fifth round).
Two veterans from that group are also gone from last year’s championship roster. Frank Clark was released and signed with the Broncos, while Carlos Dunlap became a free agent and is currently unsigned.