New York Jets running back Chris Johnson could be headed for a resurgence on his new team, and the Jets seem to be doing what they can to use their new, explosive running back creatively. They’ve been splitting him out wide in practice a la Shane Vereen in an effort to get him in space, because, well, that’s what you want to do with a player who has Johnson’s speed and agility.
Speaking of agility, Johnson said that it’s back after it was sapped out due to a torn meniscus that he played on for the vast majority of the 2013 season. He still managed to run for over 1,000 yards for the sixth time in his career, but he averaged less than four yards per carry for the only time in his career. Johnson had offseason surgery to repair the injury and has had a consistent, good recovery, and he’s at 100% now.
Johnson said of his ability to move around, via ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini, “In practice, I wasn’t able to do any lateral moves. (Now), I’ve been able to do lateral moves and stuff like that with no problem. I feel good.”
This is great news, because Johnson’s ability to move laterally and make defenders miss is where he derives most of his value as a rusher. The fact that he has his moves back indicates that he was way below full effectiveness in his last season with the Tennessee Titans as a result of the knee injury, and it indicates that he’s at full strength now. The running back tandem of Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson will be exciting to watch next season, as both are talented RBs with defined roles who complement each other well.