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Pre-Camp Reads: A Rehabbing Derrick Johnson Had Busy Offseason
July 23, 2017 12:00 PM | Sydney Ringdahl
Between dropping down on one knee and appearing on "Celebrity Family Feud," survey says the thirteen-year linebacker had a busy offseason.

Besides those memorable offseason moments, Derrick Johnson, who ruptured his left Achilles tendon back in early December in the Kansas City Chiefs' Thursday Night Football matchup with the Oakland Raiders, has been putting in all the work for a healthy recovery.

No matter the context of the spotlight, the guy can do it all.

Johnson, who has spent his entire career with the Chiefs, holds the franchise record for most tackles with 1,191.

The four-time Pro Bowler (2011-2013, 2015) earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press after setting a franchise record with 179 tackles (131 solo) in 2011.

But wait there's more.

Johnson wrote his name in the NFL's record books when he became just the third linebacker in NFL history to score two touchdowns on two interception returns in a single game in a 44-24 win at Denver in January of 2010.

Quotable:

The "Voice of the Chiefs," Mitch Holthus, spoke of Johnson at his "Celebrity Waiter Night," which raises funds for his Defend the Dream Foundation.

"He's a one-of-a-kind player. He's a one-of-a-kind player and one-of-a-kind person, and he will go down in my brief Chiefs career as one of the greatest if not the greatest of my Chiefs players of all time," Holthus said. "Just because he gets it, and I have a hard time keeping emotion away from it."

2016 Review:

With Johnson's season cut short, he finished his 2016 campaign with 90 tackles and a sack, along with a touchdown on a 55-yard interception return.

2017 Outlook:

Of what is generally a six-month process, Johnson remains optimistic about being on the field with his teammates at the start of training camp.

This past February Johnson said he found his old phone that had all his rehab dates from his injury in 2014.

"I'm looking at the date like, 'Man, I was doing this at four months, this at five months,'" Johnson said. "I'm just getting that motivation."

It's a process Johnson has gone through before, although the last time he went through it he wasn't alone.

It was in the same Week 1 game against the Tennessee Titans in 2014 that Johnson was injured that veteran defensive lineman Mike DeVito suffered the same injury less than an hour later.

Johnson and DeVito pushed each other through their rehab, and because of the challenges those two faced together, they remain close to this day.

After this past season's game where Johnson sustained his injury, DeVito quickly reached out to Johnson to let him know that he'd do anything for him, including coming back to Kansas City to help him with his rehab.

At OTAs Johnson wasn't participating in team work, but was running during individual drills.

"Our fans, they give us hope, all the time, on and off the field," Johnson explained. "They support us so much and they've given me so much love through this injury, and I can't wait to go back and smack some heads just to let them know that we still have a chance to win it all."

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