COMMENTARY | With a league-leading 10 players sent to this year's Pro Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs were well-represented in Honolulu. And following Sunday's exhibition, Derrick Johnson was the star of the show for two different reasons.
Johnson would eventually be named the game's defensive MVP for his performance on the field (nine tackles, a pass deflection and a forced fumble), which including a crushing blow on Jamaal Charles -- his Chiefs' teammate during the regular season, but his opponent in Hawaii.
Charles missed most of Kansas City's wild-card loss to the Indianapolis Colts just three weeks prior, after sustaining a concussion from an awkward collision in the first quarter. Johnson's hard tackle perked up memories of that moment, generating a stark silence up and down the Chiefs organization as to whether their star running back had again suffered another head injury.
Luckily for Charles, Johnson and the Chiefs, it ended up being just a good, old-fashioned, tough football play.
Charles had no hard feelings after the game:
"I didn't expect it, but he's out there doing his thing…I can't get mad at him. It's just about football, and you've just got to be ready."
Johnson simply did not want Charles to make him look silly on the field:
"If you stand back, he's going to make you look pretty bad, so I had to go out and really give it to him..I would never try to hurt my teammate at all, but compete a little bit."
Johnson also took to Twitter to joke about the situation:
"Have to give my fellow teammate some friendly fire. LOL! I can't lie, it felt pretty good! #probowl"
One of the concerns of the new Pro Bowl format was whether real-life teammates would not let up when facing each other on Sunday. The NFL, the teams and the fans got their answer, and fortunately for all involved, no one was hurt.
Jeremy Sickel has successfully created and operated numerous websites. His work can be read on Yahoo and Bleacher Report, and he has also appeared on various podcasts and sports talk shows around the country. Interact with Jeremy on Twitter @JeremySickel
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Jamaal Charles
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Derrick Johnson