The Oakland Raiders have had their fair share of injuries this season so far, but they have been able to overcome them and head into their bye week at 3-2.
While the Raiders are playing good football though, it appears the bye week came at a perfect time as a handful of those injured players are on the verge of returning. Included in that is rookie cornerback Isaiah Johnson, who has been dealing with a fractured face as well as a concussion and has yet to see playing time.
According to head coach Jon Gruden, Johnson is finally getting back to practicing after missing time since the end of the offseason, via Scott Blair of NBC Sports Bay Area:
“We’re hoping to get Isaiah Johnson, our fourth-round pick, back here on the practice field Monday so we can see where he is,” Gruden said. “We’d like to get him on the grass. He’s another big press guy that we like.
“We’re excited about getting our corners back at full strength. We’ll see how it goes.”
Adding Johnson to the Raiders depth chart allows the team more security at the cornerback position, although that spot has been strong already with Gareon Conley and Daryl Worley. Much like Lamarcus Joyner, Gruden has discussed toying with the idea of moving Worley to multiple positions when Johnson returns.
Johnson knows a thing or two about multiple positions. During his years in college, he started his first two years at the University of Houston playing wide receiver before making the switch to defensive back.
In his two years on the defensive side of the ball, Johnson totaled 88 solo tackles and four interceptions, which resulted in 94 yards headed in the other direction.
Although Johnson might not be ready to go for full games any time soon, eventually he might be able to contribute to the Raiders defense. As of now, Oakland has only totaled three interceptions in 2019 so he might be able to bring that total up a little bit higher.
Former Detroit Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson was also activated earlier this week, adding even more depth to the Raiders’ secondary. Lawson started his last few years in Detroit but has yet to even play this year due to a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.