Johnson was chiefly responsible for the Browns victory over the Denver Broncos by a score of 17-14.
His persistent and never say die effort to extend his runs and keep the chains moving was a signature theme of the game.
Johnson is now on the national stage because he performed so well in his first NFL start.
If you need any more evidence that this third-year player is going places, let’s consider who gave him a shoutout on social media.
That is LeBron James who draws ire from Browns fans because they think he is more deeply aligned with the Dallas Cowboys.
Who knows if that is true, but he certainly keeps his eyes on Cleveland Browns football.
Here is what he said to Johnson.
D’ Ernest Johnson on 1 tonight!! Love to see it! #Browns
— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 22, 2021
Johnson did not know about it when he was in the postgame press conference.
He is genuinely humbled and amazed by the attention from King James.
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) October 22, 2021
“Slow Grind” Relishing In The Moment
Johnson has every right to enjoy the moment.
His path to the NFL has not been ideal.
He started as an undrafted free agent out of the University of South Florida in 2018.
After being invited to New Orleans Saints rookie camp, Johnson did not get a contract.
He spent the rest of 2018 on the water in Key West, Florida catching Mahi-mahi.
Johnson did not give up.
In 2018, D'Ernest Johnson messaged every AAF team requesting a tryout. D’Ernest last night in his first NFL career start:
– 22 carries
– 146 rushing yards
– 22 receiving yards
– 1 TD
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) October 22, 2021
He signed with the Orlando Apollos in the inaugural (and only year) of the Alliance of American Football (AAF) in 2019.
Johnson signed with the Cleveland Browns in May 2019.
He had an impressive training camp and made the 53 man roster.
Until last night.
Johnson moved the chains with consistent runs through all four quarters of the game.
That is something Chubb and Hunt have not been able to do yet in 2021.
He deserves to relish in the moment before getting to work in preparation for the Week 8 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.