The Los Angeles Rams are gearing up for an important matchup against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday for Week 13 action. The Rams have a chance to get back to .500 with a third consecutive win, while the Browns look to strengthen their hold on an AFC postseason spot. It’s also an important day for Rams safety John Johnson III as he plays against his former team.
Johnson signed a lucrative contract with the Browns in the 2020-21 offseason after four years with the Rams. He spent two seasons in Cleveland, and although he was a steady presence, he never quite found the success that he had in his last season with the Rams. He was eventually released and re-signed with the Rams this offseason.
It’s surely to be a bittersweet affair for Johnson, who likely has good relationships with many of his former Browns teammates. But he understands the task at hand for the Rams and what takes priority on the field, according to Adam Grosbard of Southern California News Group:
“I told somebody else it’s going to feel like practice a little bit,” Johnson said, “but we can actually go live, tackle them to ground. So it’ll be fun, but when I’m out there it’s a nameless, faceless opponent wearing orange colors.”
Johnson went a little into depth on his time with the Browns and what he feels went wrong for him:
“I felt like I stayed stagnant, if anything,” he said. “I felt like I was just kind of in limbo. … I probably could have did some things differently, but the past is the past and I got another opportunity to prove who I am.”
The Rams safety was by no means a bad player when he went over to Cleveland. But clearly, with the end result being a release after two seasons, things did not go as either side intended. Johnson shows his maturity by admitting he wasn’t blameless, but is clearly happy to be back in the Rams organization.
Stafford gives update on injured thumb
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has lifted the team back into postseason contention after returning from a thumb injury, and he gave an update as to how that injury is feeling after two wins.
“It’s not all the way back. I’m still having to do what I have to do tape-wise and all that kind of support-wise to get it feeling right,” Stafford said. “But it’s definitely a little bit more streamlined than it was in Seattle, what I’m able to play with. And I think the control is coming back a little bit more able just to kind of fine tune some of those throws at the end as you’re releasing it, being able to change it if you need to. It’s not all the way back, but it’s definitely trending in the right direction.”