Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson went down with a knee injury during a 9-on-7 drill midway through practice Sunday and left on a cart.
But head coach Marvin Lewis said after practice early reports from doctors were encouraging.
“It seems like Michael should be OK,” Lewis said. “They’ll continue to do what they do and hopefully there will continue to be positive reports.”
After recording a franchise-record 51 sacks in 2012 and 43 in 2013, the Bengals slipped to 20 last year without Johnson.
One of the most liked and respected players in the locker room, Johnson kept in touch with his former teammates in Cincinnati throughout his time in Tampa Bay and was excited to rejoin the team after the Buccaneers cut him in March.
Lewis, who typically espouses the “next man up” mantra no matter who the fallen player is, admitted that seeing Johnson go down was difficult.
“You can’t let it affect you,” he said. “We’ve got to keep pressing on and pressing forward. But it’s a difficult thing. It’s a difficult thing when it happens in the game. It’s certainly more difficult when it happens out here in practice for his position-mates and teammates. And I understand that. \
“Before (the doctors and trainers) moved Mike, Mike said ‘let’s pray,'” Lewis said. “I said, ‘Mike, I’m gonna pray with ya, bro.’ So hopefully the lord heard us.”
More should be know Monday about the extent of the injury.