With RB Cedric Benson suffering a hip injury against the Steelers Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals have, according to multiple media reports, decided to sign disgruntled ex-Chief RB Larry Johnson to a league minimum deal as insurance in case this or other injuries knock Ced out of action.
Another redemption project by owner Mike Brown, a.k.a “The Redeemer”? Maybe so. And given all the trouble the team has gone to in the past year to clean up the locker room and its image, a Johnson signing certainly seems to be a step back. But really, it strikes me as a fairly low-risk move. LJ has zero room for error, and will be back on the street if he causes any trouble
A greater question might be, has the soon-to-be-30 Johnson got anything left in the tank? Your guess is as good as mine. With any luck, the Bengals will never need to find out. But despite the baggage he brings, it’s good to see the front office being proactive in the wake of Ced’s ding. The Bengals need to stay balanced on offense, Benson could use a breather, and Johnson needs a much better back half of the year if he has any hope of finding a full-time gig in the NFL in 2010.