Cal defensive tackle Brett Johnson, an NFL draft prospect with first-round talent, will miss his second consecutive season with an injury.
Johnson, who missed last season after suffering a broken hip in a car crash, will now miss this season with another injury. The precise nature of the new injury has not been revealed, but Cal announced that Johnson suffered the injury in practice and it was unrelated to the broken hip.
“Brett is one of the toughest and most dedicated football players I have ever been around,” Cal coach Justin Wilcox said. “Although this is a difficult situation for him, I am confident that he will return to the field in 2023. He has the unwavering support of all his coaches, teammates and everyone in our football program. It is important for us to rally around each other as a team and respond positively to this adversity.”
It is unclear whether Johnson will enter the 2023 NFL draft or return to Cal, but it is likely that he’d be a late-round pick next year. If he were to return to college football next year, stay healthy and play well, he could be drafted much higher than that. But a return to college would mean another year of risking injury, without getting paid.