Chiefs defenders Johnson and DeVito both out for the year

So much for Derrick Johnson's 2014 pursuit of the Chiefs' career tackles record; he's out for the season.

Charlie Riedel/AP

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The worst-case scenario is confirmed: What was supposed to be a historic season for Derrick Johnson is now officially history.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ Pro Bowl middle linebacker will be out the rest of the 2014 season recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon, an injury that occurred with roughly a minute to go in the first half of Sunday’s 26-10 home loss to the Tennessee Titans, coach Andy Reid said Monday afternoon.

"The guys that are hurt, your heart goes out to them for the hard work that they put in," Reid said during a Monday midday news conference. "But (we) also know we’ve got good, young players that can step in and do a good job, and that’s what’s expected of them."

Johnson wasn’t the only bad news coming out of Week 1 — starting defensive end Mike DeVito, who ruptured his Achilles tendon early in the third quarter against Tennessee, is also done for the year.

The coach said Jaye Howard and free-agent addition Vance Walker would be the most likely candidates to replace DeVito in the starting lineup at Denver, the Chiefs’ Week 2 opponent. The three had been sharing time as part of the Chiefs’ defensive line rotation: DeVito played 28 snaps on Sunday, according to, with 25 snaps for Howard and one for Walker.

The 31-year-old Johnson has been a mainstay of the Chiefs’ defense since joining the team in 2005, starting in 125 of 138 games over the past 10 seasons. The former Texas Longhorns standout is 14 tackles short of tying Gary Spani for the franchise career tackles record of 999.

Now it appears that quest will have to resume in 2015, if it resumes at all. Meanwhile, Reid said Johnson’s old snaps will likely go to reserves James Michael Johnson and Josh Mauga and that the Chiefs will continue to search for available free agents at middle linebacker, a pool that includes veterans such as Pat Angerer and Jonathan Vilma.

When asked about a timetable for surgeries and recovery for the two first-teamers, a Chiefs spokesperson said they didn’t have specifics as of early Monday afternoon.

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