Derrick Johnson used to be a lock to play every snap for the Kansas City Chiefs. along with Eric Berry, Ron Parker and Marcus Peters, DJ would be one of a few players who would play every snap.
This season is different. He’s coming off his Achilles so I thought perhaps early on in the season as he came back he wouldn’t be playing every snap but he was. He played at least 97 percent of the snaps in five of the Chiefs first six games. He played all 73 defensive snaps as recently as Week 8 vs. the Broncos.
Something has changed in the last couple of weeks as his snaps have dropped quite a bit. He played just 79 percent of the snaps in Week 9 against the Cowboys. He played just half of the snaps against the Giants this week. Andy Reid didn’t mention him in the injury roundup after the game.
The Chiefs have been better against the run the last two games. They did a good job against Ezekiel Elliott and a solid job this week holding Orleans Darkwa to 74 yards on 20 carries. I’m not smart enough to know if that’s related but I do know that DJ playing 50 percent of the snaps is unusual. I look at these snap counts after every game and that really jumped out at me.
Is this more of a breather for the 34-year old DJ coming off his Achilles last year? Or is this an acknowledgement that father time is catching up to him?
DJ’s snap counts by week this season:
Week 1: 100 (81/81)
Week 2: 100 (72/72)
Week 3: 75 (55/73)
Week 4: 100 (50/50)
Week 5: 97 (62/64)
Week 6: 100 (64/64)
Week 7: 89 (73/82)
Week 8: 100 (73/73)
Week 9: 79 (53/67)
Week 11: 51 (35/67)