An intriguing slow-day skirmish has emerged regarding the status of the knee of Jets running back Chris Johnson. Adam Schefter of ESPN has reported that the Jets have “some concerns” about the knee, and that it contains arthritis. Johnson has said there’s no arthritis.
Here’s what we know, from a source close to the situation.
His knee is normal, for a player who has six years in the NFL at running back. It would look no different under close scrutiny than the knee of any other running back who has spent six years in the NFL with significant use. He has 2,014 regular-season offensive touches, an average of 335.6 per year.
Does his knee show wear and tear? Of course it does. Can he play on it? Of course he can.
If the Jets had concerns, why would they have signed him? G.M. John Idzik is conservative, thoughtful, and deliberate. He’s not going to roll the dice with $3 million of owner Woody Johnson’s money.
“It flies in the face of common sense,” the source said.
There were, we’re told, no alarms or red flags. While either or both knees could keep him from spending another decade in the NFL, the NFL is a year-to-year proposition. For the coming year, the knee is good enough for Johnson to play at a high level. Eventually, it won’t be.
But that’s no different than any other NFL running back.