The Chiefs hopes of making the playoffs for the second straight season took a huge potential hit Sunday.
According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the Chiefs believe that starting inside linebacker Derrick Johnson has a torn achilles.
Johnson, a three-time Pro-Bowler, the most valuable defensive player in last year’s Pro Bowl and a former All-Pro is the vocal leader for the Chiefs defense. Johnson accumulated 484 total tackles through the last four seasons and also forced nine fumbles and picked of five passes during that span.
Last year, Johnson tied his career high with 4.5 sacks.
The loss of Johnson is without a doubt a huge blow, especially considering the loss of Kansas City’s other starting inside linebacker, Joe Mays, to a wrist injury. Mays is out indefinitely.
Second-year man James Michael-Johnson is Johnson’s projected replacement. For depth purposes, the Chiefs could promote Alabama rookie Nico Johnson from the practice squad.