NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Being sympathetic to a player who suffered his second serious injury in a short span of time, Jeff Fisher kind of publicly soft-pedaled Stafon Johnson’s dislocated right ankle and broken fibula.
He said the Titans were not looking for an additional running back and talked of Johnson’s ability to return in eight to 12 weeks, leaving some to think he could actually return this season.
But there was no way the Titans were going to hold a roster spot that long for him, as Johnson still ranked as a long shot to make the roster if healthy.
Tuesday the Titans waived Johnson and signed Samkon Gado.
Once Johnson clears waivers he’ll go on IR with the Titans and spend the season rehabbing what Fisher called “major reconstructive surgery.” (It’s super rare for a player in such circumstances to be claimed. We saw the Jaguars do it with Browns cornerback Don Carey last year.)
Johnson said he could have died from injuries suffered when a weight-lifting accident crushed his throat at USC.
“I was supposed to have been gone,” he said.
Comparatively, he believes he can certainly handle this.
“Even though I had some down times where I didn’t know how I was going to make it or what I was going to do for the rest of my life, I’m here now,” he said. “…All the stuff I did that I got to this point, I’m happy, but I’m mad that it came down to this. But at the end of the day I’m good. It’s common injury, something a lot of people have come through and came out productive. For the most part I am very encouraged.
He said in a year he thinks he will be back to where he was before he suffered the injury in Seattle.
“I’m very confident,” he said. “All I needed was the confidence from my coaches, to have that in me to know that ‘we’re going to keep him around to rehab it and see what he has for next year.’ And I’m very confident in that.”