Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 10/6/12

During his Friday afternoon press conference, Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur stated that linebacker James-Michael Johnson could make his first appearance since injuring his oblique in the team’s final preseason contest.

“He had a very good week,” said Shurmur of the rookie linebacker. “I watched him pretty closely because he hasn’t been out here much. He practiced fast. He looks like he’s ready to go.”

Johnson reportedly practiced at both outside linebacker spots and will offer considerable speed to the team’s linebacker corps. The New York Giants, the team’s opponent this coming Sunday, offers one of the worst rushing games in the NFL, but Johson will still be counted on to drop back into coverage as well as providing a boost to the team’s otherwise up-and-down special teams unit. A fourth-round draft pick, Johnson is listed as the reserve strong-side linebacker behind veteran Scott Fujita.

[Related: Depth Chart Demands: Is it Josh Gordon’s Turn?]

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