KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The journey for Wyatt Hubert is unusual compared to most NFL players.

The Topeka, Kansas native was an All-Big 12 defensive end at Kansas State amassing 20 sacks and 34 tackles for loss in three seasons.

Hubert was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft at 235th overall. Two months after signing his contract, Hubert tore his pectoral muscle and did not play at all in his rookie season.

In August 2022, he retired from football because of injuries, moved to the Kansas City area and went into medical sales for H-Wave, which sells a “multi-functional electrical stimulation device intended to speed recovery, restore function, and manage chronic, acute or post-operative pain.”

“I worked probably five to six months,” Hubert said on Monday afternoon. “About the last two months, I started to think back and it was really hard to watch a football game.”

A number of Hubert’s former teammates are playing in the NFL including Denver Broncos offensive lineman Dalton Risner, Miami Dolphins quarterback Skylar Thompson and Kansas City Chiefs 2023 first-round pick defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah.

After watching all of them thrive, Hubert knew he had to take advantage of this small window of life.

“Even though I wasn’t playing football, I always treated myself like an athlete in the weight room, with my diet,” Hubert said. “Everything I did, I still took all that very seriously every single day. So that definitely helped my transition back into football.”

Hubert’s agent went to the NFL Combine to put his name back into the NFL sphere and out of the three teams that extended an opportunity, the Chiefs won out. Now he’s in rookie minicamp hoping to stick for his favorite team growing up.

“Wearing an arrowhead on my chest is definitely special. It’s like wearing a wildcat on my chest too, so it’s crazy,” Hubert said. “We would go to church on Sunday, come home and watch Chiefs football, so it means a lot.”

It’s hard for Hubert or any other lineman to make a big impression in rookie minicamp with no pads on any of the players. But the three-day weekend is just a start to get acclimated to the practice and the playbook before some of the 90-man roster comes to practice on May 22 for the start of voluntary organized team activities.

While retiring from football is unexpected for a player in the first few years of his NFL career, Hubert said the decision has helped him in the long run as he gets back on the journey of his childhood dream.

“It was very tough,” Hubert said.

“I really don’t regret it, regret stepping away from football the first time because, I think stepping away and then returning and then just seeing where I’m now… coming in now, knowing what I knew from before and experiencing what I experienced, I know what to do, what not to do now, and it’s definitely made me a better player.”