Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson suffered a rib injury against the San Diego Chargers that forced him to sit out all during the next week of practice and against the Denver Broncos. He has been working his way back and said he is ‘feeling good’ but remained out during the team’s practice on Monday.
The Vikings were on bye this past weekend and, while most players don’t like an early bye week because it leaves a long final stretch of the season, the bye came at a perfect time for Johnson. He got to see his family, visit his alma mater and relax.
There are not many treatments for a rib injury, so the best thing for Johnson in order to get back on the field is to take it easy and relax.
“Just rest, that’s it mostly,” he said when asked how you treat a rib injury. “I mean, there’s really nothing you can do, just rest and let it do its own thing. You can do a little treatment, we do some exercises – some core work – and whatever they tell me to do I’m just doing that and hopefully it gets better. It’s been improving.”
Johnson was upset about having to miss out on the team’s game against the Broncos because he felt as though it was a perfect matchup for him. The Broncos run a lot of man coverage and that is what he feels as though he plays against best.
“Yeah, (sitting out) was tough because I knew the team played a lot of man coverage and, for me, I really love when I know they’re going to play man coverage,” he said. “I just know it’s me versus him and that’s a place you can go out there and eat.
You don’t have to worry about a zone defender dropping underneath you in your holes and you know it’s man versus man. Who’s going to win? That’s what I thrive on.”
After finishing the 2014 season with 31 receptions for 475 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games, many people believed Johnson would have a breakout season in 2015. His 6-foot-2, 217-pound frame gives him a size advantage over many of the receivers he goes against and he has the speed that you want in a go-to receiver.
However, in the three games he has played this season he has recorded just six receptions on eight targets for 46 yards. It is not the start that he hoped to have and Vikings general manager Rick Spielman even said he hasn’t picked up where he left off a year ago.
But if Johnson is able to work his way back to the field for this week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs he will have another chance to go against a defense that plays a lot of man coverage. It’s a game that could give him the boost he needs to get his season moving in the right direction.
“I think it’s going to be a great matchup for our team versus those guys,” Johnson said.