Persistence is key. You don’t have to tell Los Angeles Rams S Isaiah Johnson.
A practice-squad call-up for the Rams in 2016 and 2017, Johnson is hoping to bypass the whole practice squad thing and stay on the 53-man roster for the whole season.
An undrafted free agent out of Georgia Tech in 2015, Johnson spent time with the Detroit Lions before finding a quasi-home with the Rams constantly moving from the practice squad to the active roster. Johnson is a prime example of the rigors of most players being locked into constant battle.
Every day is a constant competition to stay employed in the NFL.
With Lamarcus Joyner and John Johnson III entrenched as the starters, the battle for the depth behind them will rage on between Marqui Christian, Blake Countess (roster preview) and Johnson. Of the trio, Isaiah Johnson played the least games and snaps in 2017 perhaps indicating that he’s going to be behind entering into camp.
Another factor making things difficult is that Johnson doesn’t have the versatility of Countess who has played in Rams defensive packages as a corner and safety at times. Johnson seems to be squarely pegged as a safety.
The expectation is that Johnson’s hard work is likely unable to overcome the experience and versatility of Countess. The biggest question regarding the DB group is what is more valuable to the Rams, a fifth cornerback or a fifth safety? Countess actually could answer the questions for both, but the Rams would still need another body for special teams and emergency situations.
While CB Troy Hill isn’t a safety, ultimately, the staff may have to decide between he or another cornerback or Johnson as the final spot for the DB room.
Chances of Making Final Roster (3/10)
Johnson is a great story, having been in and out and back in to the 53-man roster over the past two seasons. Unfortunately for him, the Rams seem to have such a strong group of starters/contributors in front that ultimately his dream may no longer be alive in Los Angeles.