Andre Johnson Announces Return: Latest Comments and Reaction

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2016

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Andre Johnson (81) leaves the field at the end of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Colts defeated the Dolphins 18-12.  (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Andre Johnson announced his intention to continue playing for the 2016 season on Saturday, despite a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter that the Colts plan to cut the veteran wide receiver.

"I am playing, there's no question about that," Johnson told NFL Media, per Austin Knoblauch of "I know I can still play this game...people read into the stories too much. I'm not discouraged about what happened this past season, I'm just waiting for an opportunity."

Johnson, 34, proved himself as one of the league's most physically imposing receivers for a substantial part of the past decade. The third overall pick of the Houston Texans in the 2003 draft has seen his production drop off considerably over the last two seasons, though.

In 2014, he caught 85 passes for 936 yards and three touchdowns. It marked the first time since 2005 that he appeared in at least 10 games and finished with less than 1,000 receiving yards. The Texans proceeded to let him go following the campaign.

He ended up signing with the division-rival Colts. Joining a pass-happy offense seemed like an ideal fit to get his career back on track. Even after the Miami product got off to a sluggish start, he didn't think choosing Indy was the wrong choice, as noted by Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star in October.

"Anytime you've been somewhere for 12 seasons and you make a change, it's challenging," Johnson said. "But at the same time it's an experience, and I'm just rolling [with it]. I don't have any regrets on any decisions I've made."

Things never seemed to click, though. He tallied just 41 catches for 503 yards and four touchdowns despite playing all 16 games. While some of that likely had to do with Andrew Luck's injury woes, Johnson didn't showcase the same playmaking ability he did during his prime, either.

However, Johnson decided he wasn't prepared to hang up his cleats quite yet. Instead, he'll return to the NFL for at least another season.

"It's about winning a championship," Johnson said, per Knoblauch. "Somewhere I can help a team accomplish the ultimate goal."

He'll likely play a secondary role within an offense once again, but Johnson could provide a team in need of receiver help with a veteran presence.