Derrick Johnson: "I'll be at camp"

The Chiefs’ longtime linebacker still seems confident he’ll be ready for the start of training camp


Derrick Johnson said it in February; he'll be ready for training camp.

As of Monday night, that still held true, as Johnson confirmed during his fifth annual "Celebrity Waiter Night," which raises funds for his Defend the Dream Foundation.

"I'm on track, just like last time," he explained. "I never want to put a date on when I'm going to be 100 percent. But will I be at camp? I can say that, yeah. I'll be at camp, so that's a positive."

Johnson ruptured his left Achilles tendon back in early December in the Chiefs' Thursday Night Football matchup with the Raiders. He suffered the same injury in Week 1 of 2014 to his right Achilles and made it back in time for the start of 2015.

Part of the reason he has set training camp as a goal is because he considers that particular time so important for being 100 percent during the regular season.

"You get a lot of things done at camp," he said. "Even though I'm an older guy, I will be excited to step out on the field with my pads on. You have a chance to train your eyes, get your instincts back a little bit. They may be off just a little bit, not a lot, but at training camp, you have a whole month just to gear it down and get all the kinks out of the game."

The Chiefs' longtime play-by-play announcer and host for "Celebrity Waiter Night," Mitch Holthus, commented on the significance of potentially having him back.

"[It's] huge," Hotlhus said. "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. Just because he gets it, and I have a hard time keeping emotion away from it."

Holthus, who was calling the game in which Johnson got hurt, recalled watching the play that injured him.

"It was a third down play and he helped forced [Derek] Carr out of bounds, then he just dropped down on his rear end, and I knew then," he said. "I just knew. I was like, 'Oh my gosh.' We're going to do this again? But because he's such a remarkable person and athlete that, hey, it's like Andy (Reid) said, 'I will never bet against Derrick Johnson.'"

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