After undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus on Tuesday, Stevie Johnson learned he will miss the season due to the allotted recovery time, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The surgery was successful, per Rapoport (via Twitter), but the Chargers will lose a key weapon regardless.
San Diego’s top slot receiver, Johnson injured his right knee on July 31 but will now face a much longer timeline to return to the field. The 30-year-old target was set to play the second season of a three-year, $10.5MM deal he signed in 2015.
The Chargers signed James Jones last week to help compensate for the loss of Johnson, who started eight games for the Bolts last season. However, Johnson only played in 10 contests for the Chargers in ’15, missing extensive time due to a groin injury.
The former Bills and 49ers pass-catcher enjoyed a productive start to the season, hauling in 45 receptions for 497 yards and three touchdowns in his abbreviated slate. Those numbers topped his work in 13 contests with the 49ers in 2014. Johnson was set to join Keenan Allen and Travis Benjamin among San Diego’s starters.
The 6-foot-2 Johnson is on the Chargers’ books for $4.5MM next season but could be jettisoned on a $1MM dead-money charge and save the Chargers $3.5MM.
Johnson recorded three straight 1,000-plus-yard seasons from 2010-12 but hasn’t been able to recapture that form, partially due to injuries. He missed at least three games from 2013-15 and was among several key Chargers offensive talents to go down last season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.