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Friday, July 27, 2012

Charles Johnson: Minor Knee Issue

Defensive cornerstone Charles Johnson is having a minor knee issue, which may limit his time in camp and in preseason games.  There doesn’t appear to be any longterm worry about him.   He recently had a cleanup procedure that was said to go well, and the team continues to be cautiously optimistic about it.   But there’s no reason to beat him to death for a full month if it’s unnecessary.

What this will mean?   Certainly, let’s assume that Johnson will be ready for the season opener, without reason to suggest otherwise.   Hopefully, he will dress for at least the final two preseason games, and make an appearance. In the meantime, the time will go to the guys sorting out the other spots – Greg Hardy at LDE, and the others fighting for the 3rd spot, assumedly:
*Incumbent: Antwan Applewhite, last year’s designated rusher and 3-4 guy
*The Rookie: 4th round pick Frank Alexander
*The Scrapper: Thomas Keiser, an undrafted last year who came onboard midseason for 4 sacks

It gives the team the option of more reps to whoever of the above that earns it.  The team is rostering 5 worthy guys, and might have to let one go.  None of the above trio was in training camp last year – and really,  Hardy didn’t practice in camp either due to his accident.  It’s a whole new set of ends out there, if you hold Johnson a few weeks.   Who knows, maybe Eric Norwood might even come out of his shell.   You don’t want to see Johnson out, but it’s an opportunity to make some things happen behind him.

And it gives a different look than the regular season, where Johnson or Hardy may move inside, depending on the call; and when that does happen come September, that’s a new look.  With a 3rd end that would hopefully have earned his playing time.
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