Cleveland Browns rookie running back Duke Johnson cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol and could play in Sunday’s season-opening contest against the New York Jets.
Johnson sustained the concussion during the Browns’ Aug. 29 preseason victory over the Buccaneers, and missed two weeks with the injury before returning to practice on Wednesday. Johnson also missed much of training camp with a hamstring injury.
Johnson is listed as the second running back on the Browns’ depth chart behind Isaiah Crowell, but is expected to significantly contribute to Cleveland’s offense.
Coach Mike Pettine said Johnson’s lack of playing time during the preseason could affect how he is used on Sunday, but said he was comfortable giving him the ball.
“If he's cleared to go and puts a solid couple of days together here, there's no reason to think he's not going to play a significant role in the game,” Pettine said.
The Browns open their season against the New York Jets on Sunday.
- Erin Flynn