Johnson secured one of two targets for 16 yards in the Buccaneers' 31-26 win over the Packers in Sunday's NFC Championship Game. The rookie made another one of his trademark contested catches on a Tom Brady bullet in the second half, but it was the one ball he didn't bring in that was arguably even more prominent. Facing a third-and-4 with 1:46 remaining and trying to preserve a five-point lead, Brady surprisingly targeted Johnson on a right-to-left crossing route. Johnson got some separation from the trailing Kevin King, which caused the latter to grab hold of the wideout's undershirt and draw a critical pass interference penalty. Johnson had only 12 receptions during the regular season, but Brady has displayed trust in him by looking for him in the red zone and on tough throws during the postseason. However, if Antonio Brown (knee) is back for the Super Bowl LV matchup against the Chiefs as expected, Johnson likely will share No. 4 receiver duties with Scotty Miller during that contest.
Johnson could benefit from expanded opportunity in Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Packers with Antonio Brown (knee) ruled out for the contest, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports. The rookie logged 15 snaps in Sunday's divisional-round win over the Saints with Brown spending the majority of the second half on the sideline, with his one reception an impressive 15-yard grab on third down. Johnson was able to get a fair amount of experience during the regular season despite recording just 12 catches, logging 265 snaps from scrimmage over 14 games. Tom Brady showed some trust in Johnson in the red zone as well, with four of the 2020 fifth-round pick's 17 targets coming in that part of the field. Coach Bruce Arians endorsed Johnson's ability to rise to the occasion Friday, noting Johnson has earned the trust of his staff and Brady with his play.
Johnson secured his only target for a 15-yard reception in the Buccaneers' 30-20 divisional-round win over the Saints on Sunday. The rookie's one grab stood out, as Johnson exhibited excellent control, getting in near-parallel position to the ground while making a difficult catch away from his body and then maintaining a secure grasp of the ball as he went down. Johnson logged 15 snaps overall while helping fill in for Antonio Brown, who appeared to spend large portions of the second half on the sideline with what was later labeled as a knee issue. If Brown is limited again or ruled out for Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Packers, Johnson may once again see some run as a complementary target.
Johnson brought in one of two targets for a 16-yard reception in the Buccaneers' 44-27 win over the Falcons on Sunday. The rookie saw some opportunities with Mike Evans (knee) exiting the game for good in the first quarter, a development that allowed Johnson to make an appearance on the stat sheet for the second straight week. Johnson was considered a steal as a fifth-round selection last April after a productive college career, but the wealth of talent ahead of him -- which was augmented by the mid-season acquisition of Antonio Brown -- conspired to keep the former Golden Gopher near the bottom of the depth chart. The University of Minnesota product finished the regular season with a 12-169-2 line, and unless multiple injuries strike the receiving corps in the postseason, he appears likely to fill a very minor role during the Buccaneers' playoff run.
Johnson failed to bring in his only target during the Buccaneers' 31-27 win over the Falcons on Sunday. The rookie once again saw minimal involvement, failing to bring in his only target for the third time in the last five games. Johnson has actually been active in every game since Week 3, but he hasn't recorded a catch since Week 9 against the Saints. With so many talented and healthy wideouts in front of him, the 2020 fifth-round pick figures to continue toiling in anonymity during a Week 16 matchup versus the Lions on Saturday afternoon.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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