Chiefs news: Nazeeh Johnson provides update on ACL recovery

The Chiefs defensive back spoke with Cole DeRuse of HBTC about where he's at on the recovery front.
Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

The Kansas City Chiefs defense remains a unit with plenty of youth and depth at all three levels going into the 2024 season, but that doesn't mean they're not excited to get back a couple of veterans returning from injury. One of those players, defensive back Nazeeh Johnson, sounds ready to pick up where he left off last summer before the injury occurred.

Johnson is a former seventh-round selection in the same draft that also featured two other final-round picks in running back Isiah Pacheco and cornerback Jaylen Watson. That draft is already among the best in Chiefs history, but Johnson is ready to make his mark among those draftees as well after being delayed for a year with a torn ACL.

The Chiefs defensive back spoke with Cole DeRuse of HBTC about where he's at on the recovery front.

If you don't remember, Johnson went down during an indoor practice session last summer which robbed him of the momentum he had toward making the active roster. Even in a crowded secondary, Johnson was a favorite of Dave Toub on special teams who was also coming up big on the defensive side, and it felt like he was going to make the competition even tougher for the Chiefs coaches.

Instead, Johnson spent the last year working on his knee and working his way back into the Chiefs' plans with the hopes of experiencing some delayed gratification after a year of hard work.

In a recent post from the How Bout Those Chiefs YouTube channel, our pal Cole DeRuse sat down with Johnson to hear an update on his recovery. Johnson stated he's been cleared for a lot of work and updated Chiefs Kingdom on exactly what's next.

"I’m feeling wonderful," said Johnson. "Obviously, I did tear my ACL back in camp, but I’m at 9 months now and I think I’m about 90 percent. So they have me out there running, jumping, cutting, everything with the brakes on. I’m not medically cleared to do team work yet, 7-on-7, I’m not cleared to do that yet, but I’m doing everything else. I’m running, sprinting, decel, cutting, all that.

"If anybody’s ever torn their ACL, you have pain in the front of your knee which hurts when you decel, so that’s one thing I’m working on and fighting through," he continued. "And then also working on the workload. I haven’t had a workload on that knee yet, so that’s why sometimes we’re just easing into it right now."

Johnson also mentioned being in touch with former Chiefs safety Juan Thornhill, who also endured the same injury early in his career and went on to get a big payday from the Cleveland Browns in free agency.

"He was a big help to me because he was telling me he tore his as well. He was telling me all the things he did. He said when you get back, you gotta be able to trust it because it’s; healed. You just gotta let go and do it. But he’s been a great encouragement to me. Seeing where he’s; at now makes me want to keep pushing even harder for it."

Catch the entire interview with Nazeeh Johnson over at How Bout Those Chiefs.