Cornerback Chris Johnson – signed by the Ravens on Nov. 13 – didn’t take much time making an impact for his new team, stripping Mike Wallace after the wide receiver caught a pass in the first quarter of the Ravens’ eventual 13-10 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday night.
Johnson, who was signed two days prior to Jimmy Smith undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia, lined up as the fifth defensive back in the team’s nickel package – a role that had previously gone to Chykie Brown in the Ravens’ 55-20 rout of the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 11.
Brown, the organization’s fifth-round pick in last year’s draft, tried not to sound disappointed about getting leapfrogged on the depth chart by Johnson.
“That’s just how it goes,” the 25-year-old Brown said Wednesday afternoon. “You just have to be ready when your number’s called. I was looking forward to getting some playing time against the Steelers, but obviously, they brought somebody else up. So I just have to wait for my number to be called. I’ll be ready.”
Brown eventually played 32 snaps on defense against Pittsburgh, but only because Johnson had tweaked his hamstring. It was a drop-off from the 48 snaps on defense Brown had played against Oakland.
Johnson did not practice Wednesday and if he is unavailable for Sunday’s upcoming contest against the San Diego Chargers, Brown could resume his role as the nickel back. He’s just waiting for that opportunity.
“It’s a tough business,” Brown said. “It’s what the coaches see as what’s best for the team. If I’m not getting much playing time on defense, it’s for the team. So I’m going to go out there and do my job. My job is special teams. Until my number is called on defense, I’m going to go out there and produce.”Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times