Johnson Activated from Physically Unable to Perform List, Starting at Left Tackle
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Charlie Johnson returned to practice on Monday, but did a lot more, too.
He also moved into the starting lineup.
Johnson, a fourth-year veteran left tackle and one of three Colts players activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list Monday, has been moved into the starting lineup at left tackle, Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said late Monday morning.
Johnson worked with the starting lineup through the morning practice.
"That's where we had slated for him to play – left tackle," Caldwell said Monday between a pair of Colts 2009 Training Camp practices at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
"He obviously is a guy who has played a number of positions. That's a key spot."
The Colts also activated cornerback Marlin Jackson (knee) and defensive tackle Antonio Johnson (knee) from the PUP list.
"We're happy to have them back," Caldwell said. "They looked well, and I think all three of them were happy to be back out there in the middle of the rigors again."
Jackson started at corner the past two seasons, but missed the last nine games of last season.
"It feels good," said Jackson, the Colts' first-round selection in the 2005 NFL Draft. "There are obviously some things you need to work on, get a feel for, and be more patient with some things, but overall, it was good. It felt good to get out there and run around.
"I did some good things, but there are also some things I need to work on."
Charlie Johnson, a sixth-round selection in the 2006 NFL Draft, played as a reserve that season, then started 10 games at right and left tackle in 2007. He started 12 games at guard last season and four at tackle in place of Tony Ugoh.
"I just go where I'm told," Johnson said. "Four years now, they say, 'Go play here.' I just go play."
Of left tackle, Johnson said, "I've played there before, played some games there. I feel comfortable. I'll just go play and play to the best of my ability. I just go where they say. That's what I get paid to do, and I do it.
"If they don't tell you to go anywhere, then you've done something wrong."
Ugoh, who started 11 games at left tackle as a rookie and 12 games there last season, likely will "bounce back and forth" from left to right tackle, Caldwell said.
"We may put him over at the right there behind Ryan Diem," Caldwell said of Ugoh, "but then he'll also get a little work at left as well."
Caldwell said moving Johnson into the starting lineup was something the Colts had planned entering training camp, but the move was delayed by Johnson's injury.
"We'll let the two of those guys battle it out and see how they do," Caldwell said. "Tony's not out of it by any stretch of the imagination. We'll let those guys keep battling, but it's like anything else. We're expecting him (Johnson) to take a step forward and play well."
Charlie Johnson had missed the first week of training camp with a pectoral injury.
"It felt really good to be a part of this team again and be out there, and be a part of the line – just to get back to it," Johnson said. "It was great, after missing so much time. It's hard to sit back and watch so it feels good."
Also on Monday, the Colts re-signed rookie quarterback Chris Crane and released rookie punter Tim Masthay.
Crane was signed after backup quarterback Jim Sorgi sustained a hamstring injury late last week. Caldwell said last week Sorgi is expected to miss perhaps 2-to-3 weeks. Crane, who played at Boston College, originally signed with the Colts as a rookie free agent shortly after the 2009 NFL Draft.
"We had to bring another one in, obviously, because of the fact that with Jim's injury, we're not sure how long it's going take – maybe a couple of weeks or so," Caldwell said. "The doctors will kind of guide that through, but he will be back at some point.
"We certainly couldn't go into any ballgames coming up with only two quarterbacks. He (Crane) will step in there. He knows our system and he'll do a great job."