Johnson had a workout with the Vikings on Tuesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: Dalvin Cook (shoulder) is looking at a multi-game absence due to a shoulder injury, so it's not a surprise to see Minnesota taking a look at some running backs. Johnson spent the first month of the season on the 49ers' practice squad but has been trying to latch on with a new team since early October.
Nov 30, 2021 10:48 PM EST
Johnson worked out for the Packers on Tuesday, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: The Packers lost Kylin Hill (knee) for the season, and they are expected to be without Aaron Jones (knee) for a week or two, leaving AJ Dillon and Patrick Taylor as the only healthy running backs on their active roster. Johnson was waived by Detroit in May and has since spent time with the Eagles and 49ers. The 2018 second-round pick has only appeared in one game this season, playing exclusively on special teams.
Nov 17, 2021 11:15 AM EST
Johnson was released from the 49ers practice squad Tuesday, David Lombardi of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: The running back didn't attempt a run in his only game Week 3 versus the Packers. After being waived by the Lions in May, Johnson joined the 49ers in September, but he will now search for a new team.
Oct 5, 2021 2:43 PM EST
Johnson reverted to the 49ers' practice squad Monday, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: With the 49ers backfield depleted by injuries, Johnson was called up to the active roster but didn't make an impact on offense this past Sunday against the Packers, being relegated to nine snaps on special teams. Trenton Cannon also was used exclusively on special teams (17 such plays), while Trey Sermon (41 snaps on offense) and Kyle Juszczyk (52 total plays) were the other backs to see action. There's hope Elijah Mitchell is able to do enough this week to return next Sunday versus the Seahawks, which could mean no elevation for Johnson in Week 4.
Sep 27, 2021 5:58 PM EST
Johnson only logged nine special teams snaps in Sunday's 30-28 loss to Green Bay.
Analysis: Johnson was promoted from the practice squad prior to Sunday's contest due to the absences of Elijah Mitchell (shoulder) and JaMycal Hasty (ankle). The veteran back was not used on offense despite the lack of active bodies, as starter Trey Sermon was the only running back to see any carries. Head coach Kyle Shanahan clearly did not want to rely on newcomers to his offensive system in an important game, opting to use fullback Kyle Juszczyk and even tight end George Kittle in shotgun running attempts ahead of all of the backup running back options. Hasty was placed on IR last week, but Mitchell hasn't been ruled out for Sunday's contest against Seattle. Either way, it appears that Johnson will not have much utility, if any at all, for Week 4.
Sep 27, 2021 3:31 PM EST
Johnson was elevated from the practice squad Saturday, Field Yates of ESPN reports.
Analysis: This is an interesting move given the number of injuries to the 49ers' backfield. With Raheem Mostert (knee) and JaMychal Hasty (ankle) on injured reserve, and Elijah Mitchell (shoulder) considered unlikely to play Sunday evening, Trey Sermon (concussion) and Jacques Patrick represent the only prototypical backs healthy ahead of the prime-time clash against the Packers. Given Johnson was only recently signed to the team's practice squad it's hard to imagine the 2018 second-round pick contributing significantly Sunday, but the 49ers have proven to be a running back factory of sorts. If there's any team that can help realize Johnson's potential, it's this one.
Sep 25, 2021 1:49 PM EST
Coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday that there's a 'chance' Johnson could be activated from the team's practice squad this week, Keiana Martin of the 49ers' official website reports.
Analysis: Johnson was added to the team's practice squad after Raheem Mostert (knee) was ruled out for the season. Elijah Mitchell (shoulder) has a chance to play Week 3, but Trey Sermon (concussion) and JaMycal Hasty (ankle) will likely be unavailable against the Packers next Sunday. Trenton Cannon is currently the only healthy running back on the 49ers' active roster, so a promotion for Johnson seems inevitable. San Francisco also held a workout for veterans Lamar Miller, T.J. Yeldon and Duke Johnson on Monday.
Sep 20, 2021 2:54 PM EST
Johnson agreed Tuesday to join the 49ers' practice squad, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: San Francisco's addition of Johnson comes after top running back Raheem Mostert announced earlier Tuesday that he would undergo season-ending surgery to address cartilage damage to his knee. Johnson will provide the organization with some experienced depth in the backfield, but it's not immediately clear if he'll be promoted to the 53-man active roster ahead of Sunday's game against the Eagles, who coincidentally waived the 24-year-old on an injury settlement in August. Johnson is presumably healthy again after battling the knee issue in the preseason, but whether he can come close to recapturing the burst he displayed as a rookie with the Lions in 2018 remains questionable. After averaging 5.4 yards per carry in his first season in Detroit, Johnson dropped down to 3.5 YPC over his final two years with the Lions before being waived in May.
Sep 14, 2021 12:20 PM EST
Johnson (knee) had a workout with the Raiders on Tuesday, Field Yates of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Johnson landed on injured reserve with the Eagles in mid-August with a knee injury and was waived with an injury settlement a week later, but it appears he's healthy now that he's trying out for new teams. A 2018 second-round pick by the Lions, the 24-year-old has dealt with numerous injuries through three seasons, and he was squeezed out of the rotation last year and had only 52 carries for 181 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games.
Sep 7, 2021 3:08 PM EST
Johnson (knee) has been waived by the Eagles with an injury settlement, independent NFL journalist Aaron Wilson reports.
Analysis: Johnson has seen his stock plummet from splitting time on offense over the last three seasons to looking to find a home for 2021. He was reportedly on his way to making the Eagles' roster before suffering a knee injury that left him week-to-week, so moving off of injured reserve with an injury settlement could allow him to sign with another club should injuries begin to surface elsewhere and his knee proves sound.
Aug 26, 2021 2:49 PM EST
Johnson (knee) reverted to injured reserve Wednesday after clearing waivers, Field Yates of ESPN reports.
Analysis: The Lions, who selected Johnson in the second round of the 2018 draft, cut ties with the running back in May. He was quickly scooped up by the Eagles, and through the first two weeks of training camp he was on a path to making their regular-season roster. But Johnson injured his knee at Saturday's practice, was given a week-to-week prognosis and now resides on IR. It's unclear if he'll recover enough to be able to play this season, but in order to do so the Eagles would have to cut the running back with an injury settlement.
Aug 18, 2021 3:02 PM EST
The Eagles waived Johnson (knee) on Tuesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: A knee injury cost Johnson his shot to compete for a depth role in a crowded backfield. The Eagles listed the 2018 second-round pick as week-to-week on their most recent practice report, so he may be out for the rest of the preseason even if another team wants to sign him. With Johnson out of the picture, Jordan Howard has a better shot to make the Week 1 roster.
Aug 17, 2021 12:21 PM EST
Johnson (knee) is listed as week-to-week on Monday's practice report, Tim McManus of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Johnson hurt his knee Saturday in the first practice after Thursday's preseason loss to the Steelers. He took two carries for 12 yards in the contest, having a quiet night along with the rest of the Philadelphia RBs (10 total carries for 48 yards). Even if he's out for only a week or two, the missed time could hurt Johnson's chances to make the regular-season roster. With Miles Sanders, Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell all likely to have spots, the Eagles' other four running backs (Johnson, Jordan Howard, Jason Huntley, Elijah Holyfield) may just be competing for the possibility of one job.
Aug 16, 2021 7:39 AM EST
Johnson is being evaluated for a knee injury, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports.
Analysis: It's not exactly clear when Johnson sustained the injury, but considering the team hasn't immediately downplayed the injury and it also involves his bulky knee, the injury has to be at least some cause for concern. Prior to this, the former Lions back was surging up the Eagles depth chart, seemingly jumping ahead of Jordan Howard for one of the last roster spots on the team. More information regarding the severity of the injury should come in the near future.
Aug 14, 2021 8:09 AM EST
Johnson currently looks to be ahead of Jordan Howard for a spot on the Eagles' roster, Chris Franklin of NJ.com reports.
Analysis: Johnson's ability as a receiver and pass blocker has given him an advantage over the more one-dimensional Howard in camp thus far. Additionally, the 24-year-old has quieted concerns over his health as his previously balky knee hasn't given him any trouble to date. He's also become a mentor to some of the team's younger backs. Rookie Kenneth Gainwell is generating buzz in camp as well. and the pair look likely to fill out the running-back depth chart for Philadelphia on game days behind Miles Sanders and Boston Scott.
Aug 9, 2021 1:33 AM EST
Johnson agreed to a pay cut after the Eagles claimed him off waivers last month, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports.
Analysis: Entering the final year of his rookie contract, Johnson originally was scheduled for a base salary and cap hit around $1.37 million, but he'll now settle for $920,000, the league minimum for a player with three accrued NFL seasons. The 2018 second-round pick will need to battle for a roster spot in Philadelphia, joining a backfield that includes Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Jordan Howard and fifth-round rookie Kenneth Gainwell. There isn't a clear roster lock beyond Sanders, though it would be surprising if Scott did't make the cut.
Jun 2, 2021 6:53 AM EST
Philadelphia claimed Johnson off waivers from the Lions on Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: The Eagles continue to add depth behind top tailback Miles Sanders, with Johnson joining the likes of Boston Scott, Jordan Howard and fifth-round rookie Kenneth Gainwell in the backfield. Johnson still has youth on his side -- his 24th birthday won't come until June -- and his issues with efficiency and availability over the last two seasons can largely be blamed on injury. Still, facing real competition for a limited amount of depth touches doesn't bode well for Johnson's chances of manufacturing a career resurgence in the final year of his rookie contract.
May 7, 2021 1:15 PM EST
The Lions are waiving Johnson on Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: Johnson never lived up to his status as a 2018 second-round pick, having been limited to 10 games as a rookie due to injuries, then averaging below 4.0 yards per carry in 2019 and 2020. With the Lions having signed Jamaal Williams to back up D'Andre Swift, and bringing in rookies Jermar Jefferson, Rakeem Boyd and Dedrick Mills to compete for reserve roles, the writing has been on the wall regarding Johnson's tenure. Still just staring down his age-24 season, Johnson could end up being claimed on waivers by a team in need of backfield depth, such as the Falcons, Jets or Dolphins.
May 5, 2021 4:58 PM EST
Running backs coach and assistant head coach Duce Staley specifically raved about Johnson's proficiency in pass protection during a live interview with Pride of Detroit on March 12. "...You can be the most talented route runner out there, but if you can't block, you can't play for me. Point. Blank. Period."
Analysis: Staley's comments shine a more positive light on Johnson's future in Detroit after new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn failed to mention the running back by name in his introductory press conference last month, only to go on to say that Detroit needs to "find someone else" to complement No. 1 back D'Andre Swift. While the recently-signed Jamaal Williams may be that "someone else" - and Williams is quite adept at pass pro in his own right - Johnson already has a history of subbing in for Swift on passing downs and would seem to be what Staley would prefer in a depth option. With that said, Detroit could save $1.3 million against the cap by letting Johnson go this offseason, and it's not out of the question for another team to trade for the 2017 SEC player of the year who's entering the last year of his rookie deal.
Mar 18, 2021 3:18 PM EST
The Lions' new coaching staff doesn't seem to view Johnson as a solid No. 2 running back, according to Chris Burke of The Athletic.
Analysis: Offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn referred to D'Andre Swift as a "three-down back" but also said the team will still need to "find someone else" to complement him. Johnson, a former second-round pick himself, thus figures to face competition for a backup RB role, or possibly even for a roster spot. He was largely used as a pass blocker in 2020, while Swift and 35-year-old Adrian Peterson handled most of the carries and targets. Now entering the final year of his rookie contract, Johnson may not have a future in Detroit under the new management.
Feb 10, 2021 12:00 PM EST
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