Red Zone

Watch the Chiefs’ Derrick Johnson wallop teammate Jamaal Charles in Pro Bowl

Updated: 2014-01-27T15:50:20Z


The Kansas City Star

Anyone wondering whether real-life teammates would actually hit each other in the first schoolyard-style Pro Bowl got their answer Sunday night.

Unfortunately for Chiefs fans, the answer was a resounding “yes,” and it involved two of their own, as linebacker Derrick Johnson swooped in and delivered a massive blow to running back Jamaal Charles in the first quarter of the game (scroll down to watch the video).

“I didn’t expect it, but he’s out there doing his thing,” Charles said. “I can't get mad at him. It's just about football, and you’ve just got to be ready.”

Mind you, Charles missed the majority of the Chiefs’ 45-44 first-round playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts with a concussion. But Johnson apparently wasn’t concerned about that.

“If you stand back, he’s going to make you look pretty bad, so I had to go out and really give it to him,” said Johnson, who finished with nine tackles. “I would never try to hurt my teammate at all, but compete a little bit.”

Johnson, who was named the game’s defensive MVP, may have had a little extra motivation to turn in a big performance. Not only was he an alternate ― he wasn’t added to the roster until San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman tore his ACL last week ― but Charles was a captain for Deion Sanders’ team, which passed on Johnson in the Pro Bowl draft in favor of Carolina Panthers’ Luke Kuechly.

Johnson eventually landed on Jerry Rice's team, which prevailed 22-21. For the record, Johnson’s Pro Football Focus grade of 15.4 ranked third in the league among inside linebackers, while Kuechly’s grade of 7.7 ranked eighth.

To be fair, it’s unclear how much of this really went through Johnson’s mind on Sunday. But when the game was over, he certainly didn’t seem to regret his hit on Charles.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to Follow him at

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