With one last chance to convince Vikings coaches that he deserves a spot on the 53-man roster, rookie RB Ian Johnson was at his best.
Johnson’s stats against the Cowboys were outstanding — 61 rushing yards and two touchdowns to go along with 26 receiving yards — but it was the matter in which he compiled them that was even more noticeable.
Despite being taken to the ground awkwardly on a second-quarter tackle and seemingly rolling his ankle, Johnson was unfazed, unhurt and continued to play with no hesitation. He showed prescient vision on many of his runs and bulldozed defenders into the end zone on his two touchdowns. He also demonstrated soft hands, catching all three passes thrown his way.
Whether or not it was enough to earn Johnson that coveted roster spot remains to be seen, but he definitely did all he could to make it hard on the Vikings to let him go.
Even if Johnson is cut Saturday (Albert Lee, with whom he is competing, also played well, rushing for 55 yards), he most likely will be brought back to the Vikings as a practice-squad player.
Of course, with the way Johnson closed the preseason, another team might choose to sign him to its active roster before Minnesota has a chance to put him on the practice squad.