Chad Johnson’s play draws scrutiny in Montreal

AP

In his first five games with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes, receiver Chad Johnson caught four passes, eighth-best on the club. Save for a long TD catch early in the season, his first Canadian campaign has been lacking in highlights for 1-4 Montreal, whose offense has sputtered.

In a Thursday press conference, Alouettes coach Tom Higgins said time is of the essence for Johnson to start playing better.

“We’re getting closer to the end than we are the beginning if we don’t start having better output,” said Higgins.

While Higgins made it clear the entire offense has had issues, the Als’ coach said the club has “put a little pressure” on Johnson to pick it up.

Higgins’ remarks alone are attention-getting. And then there’s this: In a story published Tuesday by the Montreal Gazette, an anonymous Alouettes player reportedly alleged Johnson wasn’t working hard enough.

On the other hand, Alouettes wide receivers coach Erik Campbell went on the record to tell the Gazette that Johnson’s work habits weren’t a problem.

“He works well in the classroom and on the field,” Campbell told the publication.

The Alouettes host the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday night at 7 p.m. Eastern. According to the Edmonton Journal, Johnson indicated he will speak after the game after declining interviews Thursday.