The Chiefs officially placed inside linebacker Derrick Johnson on injured reserve Saturday.
To replace him, the Chiefs have added defensive lineman David King to the active roster from the practice squad.
Johnson, 34, ruptured his left Achilles in the Chiefs’ 21-13 win over the Oakland Raiders on Dec. 8. The Chiefs’ leading tackler recently told The Star he intends to be ready for next season.
King, 26, has been active for one game this year, when he logged two snaps and no stats in Week 10 against Carolina.
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The promotion of King – instead of another practice squad player like Darnell Sankey, an inside linebacker – leaves the Chiefs with three inside linebackers (Ramik Wilson, D.J. Alexander and Terrance Smith) on the active roster.
When Johnson left the Raiders game, the Chiefs leaned on their nickel and dime subpackages that feature safety Daniel Sorensen playing linebacker, although Alexander joined starter Ramik Wilson for a few snaps.
Alexander, who is listed as Johnson’s backup on the depth chart, has only played six snaps on defense this year while Sorensen has played 427.
The Chiefs could also turn to Smith, a undrafted rookie and consistent special teams contributor, or veteran outside linebacker Frank Zombo, who has practiced on the inside occasionally.