Red Zone

Rookie linebacker Nico Johnson makes his Chiefs debut

Updated: 2013-10-02T20:32:07Z

By TEREZ A. PAYLOR

The Kansas City Star

Rookie linebacker Nico Johnson, a fourth-round pick in April's NFL Draft, made his regular season NFL debut on Sunday, twice appearing on the Chiefs' kickoff unit.

Johnson was expected to compete with veteran Akeem Jordan for the starting inside linebacker spot next to Derrick Johnson, but a high ankle sprain has bothered him since the preseason, and Jordan won the job outright.

While annoyed by the nagging injury, Johnson was was excited to finally see some action in a game that matters.

“The tempo was a little bit faster, but there wasn’t really that much difference,” Johnson said. “That's why I'm excited to get more playing time if I get the chance, because, I mean, those couple plays were fun. I enjoyed them. I was glad to be out there after what I been through.”

While one of the kickoffs ended up being a touchback, he actually got to somebody on the other.

“Yeah, I got to hit Brandon Jacobs one time,” Johnson said with a grin.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.

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