Josh Johnson secures backup QB spot following John Skeltonís release
The two had been competing for the backup spot behind Bengals’ starter Andy Dalton. But that never reached the heights of a true quarterback battle since Johnson followed Dalton into each of the last two preseason games, a clear indication that he was ahead in the competition. Johnson strengthened his case with an impressive performance in the Bengals’ 27-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts, Thursday night.
That game was also significant for linebacker Emmanuel Lamur, who dislocated his right shoulder against the Colts. He was placed on the Bengals’ injured reserve this weekend, ending his season.
Skelton struggled to find his footings with the Bengals this offseason, since he had never run a West Coast offense before. The fourth-year Skelton spent his first three seasons in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals – who drafted him out of Fordam in the fifth-round of the 2010 NFL draft. The 25-year-old Skelton completed 53.2 percent of his passes for 3,707 yards and 15 touchdowns over 20 career games for the Cardinals.
Skelton’s loss in Cincinnati turned out to be Johnson’s gain, as it enabled the latter to secure his projected role as the Bengals’ backup quarterback this weekend. Johnson will now have a chance to possibly play in relief of Dalton during certain intervals in the Bengals’ season opener at Chicago next week, after appearing in just one game for the Browns last season. The fifth-year pro Johnson originally entered the league as a fifth-round pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008, and remained with the team till 2011.
It is the third straight year that the Bengals are entering the season with just two quarterbacks – this time Dalton and Johnson.
The Bengals also cut CBs Chris Lewis-Harris, Onterio McCalebb and Shaun Prater, WRs Cobi Hamilton, Taveon Rogers and Roy Roundtree, OTs Reid Fragel and Dennis Roland, LBs Bruce Taylor and J.K. Schaffer FB John Conner, TE Bryce Davis, S Tony Dye, RB Daniel Herron, C T.J. Johnson, DE Dontay Moch, DT Terrence Stephen, G John Sullen. Meanwhile, running back Bernard Scott was placed on the PUP list while he recovers from last season’s knee surgery. He can become eligible for return for the Bengals in Week 6 if medically cleared for practice around that time.