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Derrick Johnson moves on from Green Bay loss, appreciates setting tackle record

Derrick Johnson (right) combined with Eric Berry on a tackle against Denver and made eight solo stops against Green Bay.
Derrick Johnson (right) combined with Eric Berry on a tackle against Denver and made eight solo stops against Green Bay. deulitt@kcstar.com

In the aftermath of the Chiefs’ 38-28 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Monday, Derrick Johnson was bummed enough about the loss that he couldn’t fully enjoy setting the team’s career tackle record.

Now that the Chiefs have turned the page on the loss, that is no longer the case.

“After going home and laying in bed thinking about it, man, it’s a great accomplishment,” Johnson said. “… I haven’t been as grateful as I should. … I got the record, I earned the record … so I’m grateful to that. I give thanks to God for having mercy on me and keeping me healthy.”

Johnson recorded a game-high eight solo tackles at Green Bay, giving him 1,003 for his career — four more than Gary Spani, who made 999 tackles for the Chiefs from 1978-1986.

“Gary Spani is a great guy. … I’ve shook his hand a few times before this, but I actually got a chance to — at Mitch Holthus’ radio show yesterday — I got a chance to talk with him a lot, him and Bobby Bell,” Johnson said. “Very humble guy. … The main thing he said was he didn’t lose the record, I earned the record.

“He said he gave honor to God when he broke the record and gave honor to God when I earned the record. He’s a level-headed individual, great guy to be around, and I hope I get to talk to him a little bit more.”

Spani said he enjoyed meeting Johnson on Tuesday, as well. He also expressed appreciation for the way Johnson, who missed almost all of the 2014 season because of a torn Achilles, plays.

“Well, the consistency to play the game as long as he has at a high level, the ability to continue to take care of his body … he has great speed and athleticism, but you’ve still got to do the right things to take care of your body and he’s been able to do that,” Spani said. “Coming back from that injury, especially … he’s done all the right things to earn it.”

Terez A. Paylor: 816-234-4489, @TerezPaylor. Download the new Red Zone Extra app for iOS and Android devices.

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