Josh Johnson knows a thing or two about being flexible. The 14 year veteran has had an exceptional career that has spanned over four leagues and 16 professional football teams. He’s also managed to make a nice living off professional sports earning $7,887,918 (not including UFL. AAF or XFL earnings) after being drafted in the 5th round out of San Diego University in 2008.
Despite all the ups and downs of Johnson’s career he has continued to provide a steady veteran presence, level head, and enough flexibility to be able to deal with last second changes. This Sunday Johnson’s flexibility was called upon as he attempted to keep Baltimore in the playoff hunt with Tyler Huntley and Lamar Jackson both inactive vs the Bengals.
While Johnson played valiantly throwing for over 300 yards and two touchdowns, the Ravens fell victim to Joe Burrow’s career day of 500 plus yards and four touchdowns. However, with Lamar Jackson’s ankle injury leaving his status in flux and now Tyler Huntley being stuck in COVID protocols the Ravens were forced to spring Johnson into action this weekend.
Johnson wasn’t the only Quarterback who received a last second phone call from the Ravens. Kenji Bahar, a preseason and practice squad acquisition was also signed last minute and made his way to the active roster. Bahar also is an alternative league QB as before signing with the Ravens in the preseason, he was with the Toronto Argonauts for a little bit.
While Johnson with his two extensive outings may have shown enough to convince multiple NFL teams into signing him (cough…Giants), Kenji Bahar may benefit from some time in the USFL or XFL. With the Ravens set to return at least Tyler Huntley or Chris Streveler from the COVID-19 reserve list, Bahar will most likely find himself on the market again. An opportunity in the USFL or XFL could be what cements him as a professional quarterback for a long time as he has obviously shown at least one franchise that he is a capable athlete.
Ultimately for the second straight week, a spring league quarterback has shown the effectiveness of having a secondary option for NFL teams when adversity strikes. Josh Johnson did exactly what he needed to do for the Ravens to win the game, he just had to deal with Joe Burrow playing at all-pro level. With COVID-19 continuing to ravage NFL rosters, it seems that there is more opportunity for former AAF and XFL 2.0 alumni to showcase their skills this fall and possibly in the spring.
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