On Tuesday, the NFL Network is airing an installment of their series A Football Life about Kansas City Chiefs’ great, the late Derrick Thomas. The program will air at 8:00 p.m. CDT.
The Chiefs selected Thomas, a former Alabama Crimson Tide All-American linebacker, with the 4th overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft. In his rookie year for Kansas City, Thomas was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year, and was named to Pro Bowl team.
In 1990, Derrick Thomas set the NFL record for the most sacks in game with 7 against the Seattle Seahawks. He came within a split second of sacking Seahawks’ quarterback Dave Krieg for an eighth time on the final play of the game. Instead, Krieg got the ball off before Thomas hit him, scoring a touchdown. Thomas’ record still stands.
Thomas was voted to 9 Pro Bowls in his 10-year career and recorded 126.5 sacks, good for 12th all-time. He had 20 sacks in the 1990 season.
In January of 2000, weeks after the 1999 Chiefs’ season was over, Thomas was in a car accident. A passenger was killed and Thomas was paralyzed from the waist down. Two weeks later, he died of a pulmonary embolism.
In August of 2009, Derrick Thomas was posthumously inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Thomas was always a fan favorite in Kansas City, and along with teammate Neil Smith, led some of the best Chiefs’ defenses in the 1990’s. He was an incredibly fun player to watch, and was a terrific speed rusher from the outside linebacker position. He still holds a special place for Chiefs fans.