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Stephen A. Smith: Derrick Johnson Will Be a Key in Tonight’s Chiefs-Chargers Game (Derrick Johnson Isn’t in the NFL)

Imagine if you saw an analyst on cable news preview the government shutdown battle by identifying incoming Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former President Barack Obama as key players. One member of Congress who has yet to take office, another who is long gone, and a president whose days in the Oval Office are nearly two years behind him.

In that context, check out this breakdown of Thursday night’s Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers showdown — one of the biggest games in the NFL so far this season — from one of ESPN’s signature voices, Stephen A. Smith:

“I’m going to have some faith in Spencer Ware, in thinking he can do some things…I’m thinking about Hunter Henry and the way that he’s played this year, and as effective as he’s been, he’s going up against Derrick Johnson. And I’ve got to keep my eyes on that.”

Sounds like cogent analysis, right?

The problem? None of the guys Smith mentioned are actually playing in the game.

Ware — as Smith’s colleague, Max Kellerman, informed him — is out with a foot injury. Hunter Henry, the man who Smith lauded for his effectiveness this year, has not played this year. He tore his ACL in May.

And Derrick Johnson? He isn’t even in the NFL. He was released by the Oakland Raiders in October, and has not signed with another team since.

Later in the broadcast, Smith read out a sort-of mea culpa — calling his gaffe(s) a “brain-lock moment.”

“It’s not the first time I made a mistake,” said Smith. “It will not be the last.”

Watch above, via ESPN.

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