FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Trumaine Johnson did not practice Wednesday despite being healthy.
Todd Bowles said “an in-house matter that we’re dealing with” was why Johnson didn’t practice and wouldn’t guarantee that the cornerback would play in Sunday’s finale at New England.
“We’ll see,” said Bowles, who refused to give any details or specifics on what happened.
Johnson stood in front of his locker, and he took a similar tack as Bowles.
“Me and the head man talked about it,” Johnson said. “That’s between us.”
The one area where Johnson differed from Bowles is he guaranteed he’s playing Sunday.
“Of course,” he said. “I’m here.”
That will be up to Bowles. But Johnson said whatever happened won’t happen again. He expects to practice Thursday and be on the field when this disappointing season comes to an end for the 4-11 Jets.
It’s been a rough season for Johnson as well.
Johnson was the Jets’ big off-season signing. They gave the former Ram a five-year, $72 million contract to be their No. 1 corner. But like the Jets this season, Johnson hasn’t lived up to expectations.
A quad injury slowed him for five games, and he’s been beaten a number of times for big plays.
Detroit’s Kenny Golladay got him in the season opener. Jacksonville’s Donte Moncrief burned Johnson for a 67-yard touchdown in Week 4. Buffalo’s Robert Foster blew by Johnson for a 47-yard gain on the opening play from scrimmage in his first game back from the injury.
Johnson also was called for two critical penalties on the opposition’s game-winning drives in two of the Jets’ last three losses.
“It’s been up and down,” Bowles said about Johnson’s season. “He’s had some good plays. He’s had some plays he’d like to have back.”
On Sunday, Johnson was penalized for a 33-yard pass interference on third-and-10 against the Packers in overtime. The series ended with Aaron Rodgers finding Davante Adams for the game-winning touchdown.
Bowles didn’t agree with that call. It was one of the calls that led to Bowles criticizing the referees during his post-game news conference, when he said, “I thought we were playing two teams.”
Johnson bolted after the game without speaking to reporters, and wouldn’t offer much of an opinion on the penalty when he finally was asked about it Wednesday.
“They called it,” he said. “It hurt us. It is what it is.”
Johnson, who was criticized for not standing up and speaking after the loss, said he handled it wrong.
“[I was] definitely upset, but I took that the wrong way,” he said. “I definitely should have talked to you after the game, win or lose. That’s my fault.”
It hasn't all been bad for Johnson. He leads the Jets with four interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown against the Titans. Johnson also picked off a pass in Buffalo to seal the Jets’ 29-23 victory on Dec. 9.
But when you sign a contract like the one general manager Mike Maccagnan gave Johnson, you’re expected to do more. Johnson said he hasn’t had the type of season he hoped for.
“With the injury and losing games of course,” he said. “But it’s going to turn around.”
Johnson won’t talk much about his time with the Rams, who are 12-3 and one of the favorites to reach and win the Super Bowl this year. But Johnson draws from his experience with them as a reason for optimism with the Jets.
He spent seven years with the Rams and only made the playoffs once – last year. They were 4-12 in 2016 and went 11-5 last season. Johnson believes the Jets can have the same type of rising.
“I trust and believe it’s going to turn around,” Johnson said. “I’ve been down this road before. I don’t like talking about my old team, but I was in the same position. We were losing, losing, losing. We finally flipped it. I believe that in this team too.”