Baltimore LB Johnson eyes tough road to playoffs

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Chiefland grad, Ravens’ linebacker having strongest season of career

By Steve Waters, Sports Editor

Jarret Johnson has had a busy last couple of weeks.

Johnson, a Chiefland High School graduate and Baltimore Ravens linebacker, has played on Monday Night Football twice, a 16-0 Ravens win against Cleveland on Nov. 16 and a 27-14 loss against Green Bay on Dec. 7.

Since their Week 7 bye, the Ravens (7-6) have gone 4-3, with wins against Denver (30-7), Cleveland, Pittsburgh (20-17, OT) and, most recently, Detroit (48-3). In that span Johnson has totaled  24 tackles, 17 solo, and two sacks.

But all is not well with the Ravens’ defense. Johnson was knocked out of the Packers game and did not play in last Sunday’s game against the Lions. Johnson has been nursing back and shoulder injuries for much of the season. 

Baltimore is among a crowded field in the hunt for the AFC wild card, and the team’s defensive struggles are slowing their attempt at a playoff run.

Against Green Bay, the Ravens’ D allowed quarterback Aaron Rodgers to finish 26-for-40 passing, giving up 263 yards and three touchdowns. Baltimore was also called for pass interference four times.

Things are looking up, however. Last Sunday against the Lions, Baltimore held Detroit to only three points and 229 total yards on offense.

Baltimore is also without linebacker Terrell Suggs, who has a sprained right knee ligament.

Johnson, speaking with the Associated Press last week, knows that things are looking difficult for his team.

“We’ve backed ourselves into a corner and if we don’t win, we’re done,” linebacker Jarret Johnson said. “So we’d better win.”