Sunday, August 17, 2008 Updated: August 18, 3:14 PM ET
Johnson knocked out of preseason game after hurting left shoulder
ESPN.com news services
CINCINNATI -- Bengals receiver Chad Johnson landed awkwardly while trying to make a catch in the first quarter against Detroit on Sunday night, then left the preseason game with a strained left shoulder. There were conflicting reports on when he would return to the field.
Cornerback Brian Kelly hit Johnson as he tried to pull in a pass from Carson Palmer on the Bengals' first series, jarring the ball loose. Kelly came up with the interception and an off-balance Johnson landed on his left side.
The Pro Bowl receiver rolled around on the field in pain for several seconds, then got up and went to the sideline. Trainers examined the shoulder on the field before Johnson went to the locker room for further examination and treatment. He was ruled out for the rest of the game.
After the game, the team told ESPN's Bob Holtzman that Johnson suffered a sprained shoulder and would not play next week.
ESPN.com's James Walker wonders if Chad Johnson's injury is just one of a number of issues with the Bengals offense that could cause concern. Blog post.
Johnson had a different take, however, telling ESPN that he would return next week against New Orleans.
"I think he should be ready by the opener," coach Marvin Lewis said. "Some of these things come back right away, and they're ready to go."
Team officials added that Johnson's shoulder briefly popped out on the field but did not stay dislocated. X-rays and an MRI were negative.
The Bengals already were without Pro Bowl receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who missed his second preseason game with a sore hamstring.
The Bengals don't have much experience at receiver behind Johnson and Houshmandzadeh. Marcus Maxwell started Sunday in Houshmandzadeh's spot. The Bengals released No. 3 receiver Chris Henry after his latest arrest in the offseason.
Johnson had lobbied for an offseason trade, but the Bengals refused. He abandoned his threat to sit out the season and reported to training camp on time, but he wasn't able to participate in practice initially because he was still recovering from surgery to remove bone spurs from his right ankle. He looked close to full speed in practice last week.
The loss of Johnson, even for the short term, would be a huge setback to the Bengals. The team also played Sunday without starting running back Rudi Johnson, who was slowed by hamstring injuries last season and has missed the first two preseason games with a sore hamstring.
Chris Perry started at tailback for the Bengals.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.