Will Johnson isn’t going away without a fight.
Ok, maybe that is some hyperbole. This isn’t Matt Damon getting off Mars in The Martain. But as we’ve written, and you’ve certainly noticed, Johnson has lost his role in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense.
“I feel good about our backs. The other thing we have is Will Johnson who has extensive reps and action in the backfield. Protection wise, all those things. He’s another guy,” Haley told reporters yesterday.
When pressed, Haley did admit Johnson hadn’t worked in the backfield since basically training camp. His only game action came in Week One, receiving four carries on the goal line against the New England Patriots.
Last week, he saw just one snap on offense, overshadowed by Roosevelt Nix and the surprising play of Jesse James. Nix played 29 snaps while James played on 33.
It would be a little desperate but the move makes sense. Isaiah Pead has still only been on this roster for two weeks and may not be knowledgeable enough about the playbook to be trusted. Still, any snaps Johnson would see would be sparse. DeAngelo Williams is almost certain to play and Haley made it clear Jordan Todman is the Steelers’ #2.
In his career, Johnson has eight rushes for 14 yards.
In the unlikely scenario where it’s needed, Heath Miller and even James could be used in the backfield to protect in obvious passing situations. Miller has done it throughout this career while James got work in that capacity during his time at Penn State.