In the first half, Johnson made a crucial play by intercepting Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord in the first quarter, bringing the ball to Ohio State’s seven-yard line.
A little while later, however, Johnson was seen on the sideline with his helmet on, but he did not return to the field for most of the second half with an apparent injury.
After the game, acting head coach Sherrone Moore did not seem overly concerned with the injury, stating, “I think he just had a lower leg injury, I think he’ll be alright.” But Johnson did play just 39 of Michigan’s 58 defensive snaps in the game.
On Tuesday, Johnson provided an update on his injury.
“That (injury) happened during the week last week, but kind of practice a little lighter so I can make it to the game and it just flared up again,” Johnson said. “I feel a lot better than I did on Saturday. Just tweaked a little something. But I was out at practice today, and everything’s good.”
This season, Johnson has recorded 20 tackles, one tackle for loss, three interceptions and four pass breakups in Big Ten play, all while playing just eight snaps in the Wolverines’ first three games as he recovered from a different injury. He has been targeted 30 times, allowed 15 receptions, 256 receiving yards and zero touchdowns.
“I mean, my best ability is availability, so trying to be available is the biggest thing and trying to be at my best health is the biggest thing, too,” Johnson said. “So I’m going to do whatever I can to be out there on Saturday, but if that’s not the case, then I’ll be back the next time we play.”
Last year against Purdue in Indianapolis, Johnson recorded two interceptions and allowed just 22 receiving yards on eight targets in coverage. With an expected blowout in Indianapolis — the Wolverines are 23-point favorites — it begs the question whether Michigan should let Johnson rest and be fully healthy for a potential College Football Playoff game, or risk further aggravation while keeping your best cornerback on the field for a possible third Big Ten championship.
Either way, we’ll find out soon enough. The Michigan Wolverines and Iowa Hawkeyes will do battle at Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday night.