Austin Johnson lacks the blocking résumé of his Saints fullback peers.
Yet Johnson has placed himself in a position to start the regular season ahead of 11-year veteran Greg Jones on the depth chart, thanks to his pass-catching abilities. His 3-yard touchdown reception on the Saints first drive of Saturday night’s preseason game at Indianapolis served as the latest example of Johnson’s versatility.
On the play, Johnson met outside linebacker Erik Walden in the flat, squaring up before pushing his way into the end zone, rolling on top of Walden.
In a pass-first offense, Johnson’s receiving abilities could be enough to earn the job temporarily vacated by Erik Lorig, out with an unspecified leg injury. Lorig was one of two Saints players not to attend Friday’s Touchdown Club Saints luncheon. Jones was signed late in training camp (Aug 6).
Coach Sean Payton announced recently that Lorig, signed this offseason from Tampa Bay, will likely miss at least the Sept.