- Kieran Darcy, ESPN Staff Writer
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He found the end zone again Thursday night in his debut with the New York Jets.
This was only a preseason game, but it was a positive first step in Johnson's comeback from offseason knee surgery and his tenure with his new team.
But even better than the touchdown was the fact that Johnson said he didn't even think about his knee out there on the field.
"After the first hit, it was back to normal," Johnson said, "like any other year, like any other game."
Johnson, Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell are all listed as first-stringers on the Jets' depth chart at the moment. But Powell did not dress for Thursday's game due to a hamstring injury. Both Ivory and Johnson were introduced as starters prior to kickoff.
Ivory carried the ball on the Jets' first two offensive plays. Johnson entered the game on third down, and Geno Smith found him immediately for a 10-yard catch and run.
Unfortunately, the Jets were facing a third-and-14, and were forced to punt.
Johnson was the featured back on the Jets' second drive, and carried the ball twice, but with only one yard to show for it.
On their third drive, he had another catch out of the backfield -- this time from Michael Vick -- for a six-yard gain. And he had two more carries. He only gained one more yard, but it was an important one -- taking the ball in on 2nd-and-goal from the 1, thanks to a nifty cut-back move.
Four carries for two yards won't knock anyone's socks off, and Johnson also dropped a pass. He clearly has some rust to work off, but the regular season is still a month away, and his track record speaks for itself.
Coach Rex Ryan liked what he saw.
"I'm glad we don't have to defend him," Ryan said. "He still has great speed. He made a few plays and got hit a couple times, but he popped up and had a big smile on his face, so he's ready to roll."
Johnson thinks the team's remaining preseason games will only help.
"I was just so excited to play again, I just gotta be a little bit more patient and wait on my blockers a little longer or whatever," Johnson said. "But I'm gonna all right, I feel good, I'm excited, I'm ready to play."