Updates from Thursday, June 19
Jets coach Rex Ryan said Thursday, as his team concluded its three-day minicamp, that he expects running back Chris Johnson to be completely ready when training camp begins in about a month, in Cortland, N.Y.
“I’m pretty optimistic,” Ryan said. “I feel really good about him. I think we all feel good about him. Will we put him on a pitch count? That’s always a possibility. We’ve done that before to veteran players, especially guys coming off injury. We’ll see how it goes.”
Updates from Wednesday, June 18
Seth Walder of the New York Daily News has the latest on Johnson:
“I’d just retire and not play anymore if I didn’t feel like I was still capable of being a 2,000-yard back,” Chris Johnson told the Daily News on Tuesday. “I know I have the ability.”
“I don’t feel like I’m getting older or I lost a step. I still feel good. I still feel explosive,” he said. “I just know the type of player I am, I’d never sell myself short.”
Added Johnson: “If I (were) to come in here and not really believe in my mind that I can’t play (anymore), then why would I continue to go through all of this stuff?”
Johnson also said that he will be ready for training camp (via Jane McManus of ESPN):
"I'll be ready for training camp," Johnson said at his locker.
Jets general manager John Idzik is optimistic Johnson will be ready to go when the Jets head to Cortland, N.Y.
"We would hope so," Idzik said. "We're taking a little bit more conservative path with some of our guys, I think you've seen, Chris being one of them. There's a couple weeks between now and the 23rd when we report so we'll see how he is come report date."
Updates from Tuesday, June 17
Dennis Waszak Jr. of the Associated Press provides an update on Chris Johnson's recovery:
Rex on Chris Johnson: #Jets won't put him in team drills during minicamp. Will continue to do individual drills.— Dennis Waszak Jr. (@DWAZ73) June 17, 2014
Chris Johnson was one of the big signings for the New York Jets this offseason, but don't expect to see him at the team's OTAs, as the star running back continues to rehabilitate his knee.
From Kimberly A. Martin of Newsday:
Chris Johnson said his knee feels good, but he'll probably sit out OTAs #jets— Kimberley A. Martin (@KMart_LI) May 22, 2014
Like many Jets fans, however, Johnson seems optimistic about the team's prospects moving forward:
Peter King of Sports Illustrated is one of many who likes the team's offseason moves, including the addition of Johnson:
I like what John Idzik has done this offseason. Vick, Chris Johnson, Pryor, Amaro, Decker, Dimitry Patterson, Ford ... most for reasonable$.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) May 22, 2014
Johnson was one of several additions—including quarterback Michael Vick, wide receiver Eric Decker and rookie draft pick and tight end Jace Amaro—who will be expected to help dramatically improve last year's impotent offense.
Johnson has now rushed for 1,000 or more yards in all six of his NFL season, accumulating 1,077 rushing yards and six touchdowns a year ago, though he's never quite lived up to the standard he set in 2009 when he rushed for 2,006 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Nonetheless, once he's healthy he'll represent an upgrade at the position for New York. Chris Ivory (833 rushing yards and three touchdowns) and Bilal Powell (697 rushing yards, one touchdown) shared the load last season in the running game, but neither has the home-run hitting ability of Johnson.
Johnson may not get anywhere close to 2,000 yards again in his career, but he certainly has plenty of rushing yards left in the tank for the Jets.