Bengals coach Marvin Lewis admitted Monday that Larry Johnson will come to Cincinnati for a tryout, but tried to downplay Johnson’s possible role on the team.
In fact, Lewis says L.J. won’t disrupt any running back’s role on the Bengals, not even backups Bernard Scott and Brian Leonard. According to Lewis, Johnson would likely be inactive for the Bengals when everyone is healthy — a fourth running back.
Lewis already spoke to Benson and told him that his role wouldn’t change. The Bengals say Benson could play this week, but they will be cautious. Johnson would seem likely to be active if Benson is out, assuming they complete the deal. L.J. must still complete a workout and physical.
It’s expected that Johnson won’t get much more money than the veteran’s minimum, if any. Accepting such a small role and contract downgrade looks like Johnson’s best route towards continuing his playing career.
He doesn’t appear to have a choice.