It’s hard to teach speed, and New York Jets RB Chris Johnson has a whole lot of speed that will cause problems for opposing defenses this season. Johnson’s speed may cause problems for others, but his problems are his health and his age. With the preseason right around the corner, Johnson is said to be making great progress in rehabbing his surgically repaired torn meniscus.
When the Jets signed Johnson to a two-year, $8 million contract they knew the big risk the team was taking. But now that Johnson is getting closer to 100 percent the risk may reap some big rewards. The good thing about Johnson is that he doesn’t need to be a workhorse for his new offense, because the Jets will give some carries to Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell to help lighten the load. If Johnson proves to be healthy that is great for this new Jets offense and the fanbase, because he gives them the playmaker the team has been missing.
The only other question about Johnson is his age, and even though he is only 28, it is hard to make it past 30 and be a productive running back in today’s NFL. I’m not saying that he can’t prove to have a successful career past the 30-year-old benchmark, but it’s just a lot to ask for a guy who is coming off a big injury and has had a lot of carries over the course of his career thus far.
All the Jets need from Johnson is some veteran leadership, a few big plays and he will prove to be worth his contract. If Johnson is the Johnson of old, watch out, but if he isn’t at full speed the Jets may be in trouble this season.