The Denver Broncos are scorching and currently on a five-game winning streak. Bad news for anyone hoping they'll slow down: Russell Wilson is about to get a key weapon back in the lineup.
Brandon Johnson has been lifted from the injured reserve list according to the team and was seen at practice on Wednesday afternoon. The wide receiver is eager to participate in this weekend’s crucial game with major AFC playoff implications against the Houston Texans. Johnson has been out for the past month battling a hamstring injury.
Brandon Johnson will make Russell Wilson's already strong play of late come even easier
Johnson had a strong connection with Wilson before the injury boasting a stat line of eight catches, 122 receiving yards, and a trio of touchdowns. His three touchdowns ranks second on the team behind Courtland Sutton and the team is hoping he can return to provide another playmaker to a humming unit. He has already topped all of last season’s production where he caught six passes for 42 yards and one touchdown in seven appearances.
Johnson had a nice start to his sophomore campaign seeing three targets in three straight games to begin the season and gives the team another physical red zone wide receiver across from Sutton. His best outing came against Washington when he corralled two catches for 66 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Johnson pairs well with clear No. 1 receiver in Courtland Sutton and nifty playmaker Jerry Jeudy. Sutton has been the team’s dominant vertical and red zone threat this season with Jeudy being looked to in short-yardage situations and is often a big play threat in the play-action game. Johnson will likely return to third on the wide receiver depth chart over speedy return specialist Marvin Mims and elite blocker Lil’Jordan Humphrey. Besides special teams, Mims has been utilized in crafty screen and sweep plays and will most likely see his targets decline and revert to that and an occasional vertical threat with the elevation of Johnson.
I believe that the key for Johnson is to get some reps under his belt after not seeing the field since Week 8. He can turn in a meaningful performance by displaying that key rapport he showed with Wilson early in the campaign. With Sutton boding the lion's share of the targets in dire situations especially on third down, Johnson will look to provide another security blanket for Wilson and help the team keep the chains moving. Anticipate for him to be on a limited snap count yet believe that a successful stat line against the Texans will include at least one catch with one red zone target minimum. The most essential part is his elevation and getting up to game speed.
Wilson and the Broncos are eager for Johnson to rejoin this offense and paired with its stout defense can push the team toward the NFL playoffs.