Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson expects to be back by training camp after tearing his Achilles tendon late last year and missing the end of the regular season and playoffs.
The four-time Pro Bowl linebacker ruptured his right Achilles tendon in a game against Oakland. It was the opposite tendon from the one he tore in 2014, missing almost the entire season.
Johnson said that rehab has been going well and he expects to be “100 percent” when the Chiefs convene at Missouri Western for training camp in late July. But he doesn’t want to put a date on his return, and it is possible he’ll miss the entire offseason program, which officially began on Monday.
“If I’m not 100 percent, there will be some kind of setback,” Johnson said Monday as the Chiefs began their organized offseason workout program. “The main objective is to come into camp and get my work done and start training my eyes again.
“I’ll be well enough. It’ll probably be 7½ months by the time camp comes around so I’ll be able to do everything.”
Having Johnson, who turns 35 in November, healthy and in their lineup when the season begins has been a goal for the Chiefs. Johnson has been a solid and at times spectacular player for Kansas City for years against both the run and the pass.
The Chiefs have no obvious candidate to replace Johnson as an every-down producer at inside linebacker.