Chiefs coach Andy Reid confirmed his team’s worst fears on Monday when he announced Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive end Mike DeVito will undergo season-ending surgery for ruptured Achilles’ tendons.
Both players were injured in Sunday’s 26-10 loss to Tennessee. DeVito, in 26 defensive plays and Johnson, in 30, were the only Chiefs’ defensive players to post positive grades in the game, according to Pro Football Focus.
Reid said right tackle Jeff Allen is being evaluated for an elbow/bicep strain; safeties Eric Berry and Husain Abduallah have quadriceps contusions; outside linebacker Tamba Hali has a slight ankle sprain and wide receiver Frankie Hammond Jr. has a shoulder injury.
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Reid anticipated that cornerback Marcus Cooper, who missed Sunday’s game because of an ankle injury, will return for Sunday’s game at Denver, as well as wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, who was suspended for the opener for violating the NFL’s policy on substance abuse.
Running back/punt returner DeAnthony Thomas, who missed the Tennessee game because of a hamstring strain “is making progress,” Reid said. “We’ll see how he does.”
Reid said Jaye Howard, who participated in 24 plays after DeVito was injured early in the third quarter, and Vance Walker, who had one snap, will work in DeVito’s spot.
James Michael-Johnson replaced Derrick Johnson and will continue in that role.
“We’ll keep our eyes open to fill those spots,” Reid of replacing Derrick Johnson and DeVito when they are placed on injured reserve. “We’ll look at our practice squad players, and we’ll look in the free agent area and any other option that’s available.”
Inside linebacker Nico Johnson, a fourth-round pick in 2013 from Alabama, is a candidate to be promoted from the practice squad, as is defensive end Kona Schwenke, a rookie free agent from Notre Dame.