Stafon Johnson suffers serious ankle injury

Stafon Johnson, the Tennessee Titans rookie running back who was badly injured in a weightlifting accident at USC last year, suffered a major ankle injury Saturday night in his first NFL preseason game.

Johnson was carted off the field in Seattle with a dislocated right ankle and is likely to miss the entire 2010 season.

“Bouncing back from trials and tribulations, this is just a bump in the road,” Johnson said after the game. “God has brought me back this far, and it felt good to be where I’d gotten to. This is minimum compared to what I have been through, really.”

In September Johnson dropped a barbell on his throat while bench pressing in the USC weight room, causing him to be hospitalized for three weeks. The injury ended his college football career, but he signed with the Titans as an undrafted free agent.

Now the ankle injury will apparently end his rookie year. Johnson’s Titans teammates gathered around him as he was being attended to on the field, and both Titans coach Jeff Fisher and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who coached Johnson at USC, spoke of him in glowing terms after the game, saying that if anyone can come back from a setback like this, it’s Johnson.

“I appreciate the love and support,” Johnson said. “I am just a regular guy trying to make it like everybody else. I’m just going to try and get back as soon as I can.”