With their starting quarterback’s availability for this week uncertain as Lamar Jackson deals with a low ankle sprain and given the recent spike in COVID-19 cases around the league, the Baltimore Ravens brought in some experienced reinforcements on Wednesday.
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh confirmed the move at his press conference and praised the 14-year veteran for all that he brings to the table. Johnson came into the league as a fifth-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008 out of San Diego and has spent time with 14 different teams including the Ravens for a short stint in 2016 before he was released in the final round of cuts that year.
“I’ve known Josh since he played with my brother at the University of San Diego, many moons ago,” Harbaugh said. “That shows you what a credit it is to Josh’s career. He’s played in this league a long time. He’s very reliable, it was great having him here in 2016, he’s one of the best guys you ever want to be around. Where he’s played, he’s played well. To bring him in here, all things considered, the potential to need him this week, the potential for the rest of the season, it just makes sense to bring him in.”
If Jackson can’t play this week when the NFC-leading Green Bay Packers come to town, Johnson will serve as the backup to second-year pro Tyler Huntley who is coming off a strong outing this past week when he nearly led the Ravens to a come from behind victory. The only other quarterback on the team before Johnson was brought in was another 2020 undrafted free agent in Chris Streveler who has only attempted 25 passes in seven career games with the Arizona Cardinals over his first two seasons before being waived on Nov. 23.
Johnson is a seasoned pro who can perform admirably when called up and will provide a strong veteran presence to a very young position group for the Ravens. He performed more than admirably in Week 9 against the Indianapolis Colts earlier this season when he brought the Jets within a single possession late in the game. He completed over 65 percent of his passes and finished with a passer rating of 103.4 by going 27-of-41 for 317 yards, three touchdowns to one interception, and added 18 yards rushing on four carries.