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Replacing Derrick Johnson: Chiefs look at free agent, practice squad options

The Chiefs are looking at their options to replace Derrick Johnson.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid confirmed on Monday that LB Derrick Johnson and DE Mike DeVito are out for the year with Achilles injuries. Replacing DeVito will be easier because of the depth on the roster in Jaye Howard and Vance Walker.

Replacing Derrick Johnson will be a little bit tougher not only because DJ is a great player but because of who they have behind him -- not much, especially after Joe Mays' injury. Josh Mauga, signed at the start of training camp, is replacing Mays already.

James Michael-Johnson will now be called upon to replace DJ. He has fit best with the Chiefs in their subpackage but he will not be playing a full-time role. That is, unless the Chiefs decide to sign a free agent.

Reid said on Monday that GM John Dorsey is already looking at players to come in due to the injuries, including from the practice squad (Nico Johnson) and free agency. This is what I said on the Amateur Hour postgame podcast -- the Chiefs need to go to free agency to replace DJ. That's not a knock on JMJ as I think he's a nice addition in the Chiefs subpackage.

So, onto free agency...

Of note in that group is Stewart Bradley, Moise Fokou and Jamar Chaney. Reid drafted all of those guys while with the Eagles. Zac Diles is also of note as he spent the 2013 offseason with the Chiefs. Keep an eye on those players as the Chiefs explore their free agency options.

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