- Strong quake hits Japan, triggering tsunami
- Sniper heaven: Pentagon’s self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- Violent gang taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- Medicaid enrollment continues to soar under Obamacare, administration says
- Michelle Obama to Latinos: ‘We cannot afford to wait on Congress’ for immigration
- White House urges GOP to act ‘urgently’ on $3.7 billion request for illegal immigrants
- Politicians, criminals using ‘right-to-be-forgotten’ law EU courts forced upon Google
- Combat fatigue: elite special forces troops are ‘fraying,’ Gen. Joseph Votel warns
- German foreign minister to meet Kerry to discuss spying claims
- Florida police spokesman tells citizens: ‘Get yourself some firearms’
Berry vs Johnson gives subplot to Chiefs vs Bills
Question of the Day
KANSAS CITY, MO. (AP) - Eric Berry never saw the hit coming until it was too late.
The Chiefs’ Pro Bowl safety was ranging to his right, trying to defend the goal line in last season’s opener, when Steve Johnson lined him up in his sights. The Bills wide receiver swooped in with his shoulder first and cut Berry down at the knees with a devastating block.
It was perfectly legal, but that didn’t matter much to Berry as he was lying on the turf at Arrowhead Stadium. Berry tried to keep playing, but it was all in vain: He had torn the ACL in his left knee, effectively ending his season.
Berry tweeted in the offseason that he wondered whether Johnson intended to hurt him, in truth a natural question amid the controversy of the Saints’ bounty scandal. He’s backpedaled since, saying the tweet was in jest, and he’s sidestepped the media all week. But in a statement made in April, Berry indicated that it still weighed on his mind: “You can look at the tape and make your own opinion about that.”
Johnson has always denied that he was trying to take out Berry’s knee, more than once trying to apologize for the hit. The former seventh-round draft pick said again this week, with the Chiefs scheduled to visit Buffalo on Sunday, that he was merely making an important block early in the game.
It was nothing more than that, Johnson insisted.
“However he feels is however he feels,” Johnson said. “I already said it before that I’ve never been a dirty player. I never try to take somebody out. I know the work put in to get where he is and where I am. I’ve said it before, but it’s enough already.”
Johnson isn’t dishing rhetoric, either.
He was a relatively unheralded wide receiver when he was coming out of Kentucky, a program hardly known as a football factory. But through sheer grit and determination, he’s emerged as one of Buffalo’s biggest weapons, coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
He’ll be even more invaluable now that the Bills are playing without injured running back Fred Jackson and wide receiver David Nelson for now.
“I came from the bottom, you know what I’m saying? I know the grind and the struggle to get where I am now,” Johnson said. “Everything that’s been said and everything that happened, it happened. It’s over with.”
Berry’s path to stardom was much more direct.
He was the fifth overall pick of the Chiefs out of Tennessee, and started every game his rookie season. He made 87 tackles, picked off four passes and even returned one for a touchdown, putting together the kind of year that made his first Pro Bowl trip a certainty.
So when he was lost for the season in Week 1 last season, it was little wonder that the Chiefs defense was ripped apart by Buffalo (41-7) and Detroit (48-3) the first two weeks of the year.
“It’s another game. That was last year,” said Kansas City safety Kendrick Lewis, who is expected to miss his second straight game Sunday with a right shoulder injury. “Eric’s with us now, he’s healthy, and we need to attack this game.”
Democrats reveal an identity crisis by pretending to be what they're not
- Pentagon's self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- PRUDEN: 'Dirty Harry' Reids increasing eccentricity
- Michelle Obama to Latinos: 'We cannot afford to wait on Congress' for immigration
- TRACCI: Six steps to end the border crisis
- Florida police spokesman tells citizens: 'Get yourself some firearms'
- Armed militia sets up Texas command center to 'fight for national sovereignty'
- Hamas orders civilians to die in Israeli airstrikes
- Bush fixed bowling lanes that Obama wants to renovate
- Obama seeks brisk passage of border children funding bill
- Google Glass-equipped rifles can fire around corners: It's 'mind-blowing when you actually do it'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs