Olabisi “Bisi” Johnson (born March 17, 1997) is an American football wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL) (NFL). He played college football at Colorado State and was picked by the Vikings in the seventh round, 247th overall of the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Minnesota Vikings sat 33 players on Saturday night, trying everything they could to keep their key starters and depth guys healthy heading into Week 1 with the Green Bay Packers but they still ended up losing a potentially critical component to injury.
On Sunday, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero claimed that receiver Bisi Johnson will miss the 2022 season with an ACL tear. He also missed last year with the same issue.
“It’s sad because he’s had a really excellent training camp and done everything that we’ve asked of him at numerous spots,” head coach Kevin O’Connell said.
Between 2019 and 2020 Johnson proved to be a competent fill-in option, catching 45 catches on 62 targets for 483 yards and three touchdowns. After missing 2021 and seeing his team choose Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Jalen Nailor and sign veteran Albert Wilson it was questionable whether Johnson would make the squad but he turned out to be their most reliable depth receiver throughout camp and preseason.
The Vikings are now left with a void in their receiving room. Smith-Marsette has shown amazing skill at times but does not have a track record like Johnson. The Vikings waived Wilson after he failed to get traction during camp and Nailor departed Saturday’s game with a concussion.
Vikings WR Bisi Johnson suffers a knee injury in preseason finale at Denver; coach Kevin O'Connell said it "doesn't look good." https://t.co/XivIib23Vh
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 28, 2022
The sixth-rounder from Michigan State mostly spent time with the third team in camp. Triston Jackson, who spent was on the practice squad in 2021, had a great preseason and worked with the second team during camp. He is a candidate to make the squad with Johnson out but he does not yet have a regular season NFL appearance.
Last season the Vikings’ offense was hindered after losing Adam Thielen to an ankle injury and pushing KJ Osborn into the No. 2 receiver slot. Since the team is planning on playing three wideouts more frequently this season, the No. 4 receiver position is more important than ever.
Looking outside the building is a potential possibility with cutdown day coming on Tuesday but acquiring players who have been released has rarely been fruitful in recent years for the Vikings. In 2018 Aldrick Robinson caught 17 passes after being let loose by the 49ers in the final cuts. The next year the Vikings scooped up ex-Washington receiver Josh Doctson before Week 1. He did not register a reception and appeared in one game.
There are a handful of free agents remaining on the market, including Odell Beckham Jr. (who is coming off an ACL tear during the Super Bowl), Cole Beasley, Adam Humphries, DeSean Jackson, and Will Fuller. It is unknown if the Vikings would contemplate making any other free agent signings. OverTheCap.com estimates that its available cap space is $10.1 million.
Although Johnson’s absence would leave a void in the depth chart, his injury is particularly devastating because of the challenges he faced on his way to the NFL, from getting selected in the seventh round out of Colorado State to establishing himself as a regular member of the team. Once again, he will miss the year 2021, and his return journey will be longer than expected.
The Minnesota Vikings picked Johnson in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft (247th overall). Johnson played in all 16 games for the Vikings in his first season, and he started six of them due to Adam Thielen’s injury. He ended the season with 31 receptions, 294 receiving yards, and three touchdowns.
Johnson started the opening game of the season alongside Thielen at receiver, and he set a new personal best with three receptions for 56 yards against the Green Bay Packers. Johnson was sent to the bench after he was replaced as the starting quarterback by rookie Justin Jefferson before Week 3 Johnson tore his ACL on July 31, 2021, during the preseason, and so was out for the entire 2021 campaign.
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