Johnson injury thrusts Holmes into starting role

Mike Johnson went down in practice Tuesday with a left leg injury. Backing up Johnson is second year pro Lamar Holmes who was promoted last preseason when an injury at the right tackle position occurred. Holmes was the third option at right tackle behind Will Svitek in 2012, and worked his way into the rotation after Svitek was sidelined. Last season’s starter Tyson Clabo was released and left a vacancy that Johnson and Holmes have been competing for this offseason. Johnson edged out Holmes for the job.

Johnson has been working with the first offense and preparing for the starting right tackle role. In a combined practice with the Cincinnati Bengals on Tuesday Johnson suffered a left leg injury and was carted off in an ambulance. Stepping straight into the first team drills the following play was Holmes.

The situation heading into the first preseason game stands as Holmes as the starter and rookie free-agent Alex Savoie as the backup. Behind the left tackle Sam Baker are two more rookie free agents in Ryan Shraeder and Terren Jones. All three reserve tackles are rookie free-agents.

Johnson broke his left fibula and disclocated his ankle. Holmes will have four weeks to prepare for the starting job. Holmes played in one game as a reserve offensive lineman during his rookie season. While at Southern Miss, Holmes earned first team All-Conference USA honors, and helped The Golden Eagles post more than 6,000 yards of total offense in a season for the first time in school history. Holmes proved to be a capabable backup last year, but now the depth behind him will be an open competition.


Johnson is scheduled for surgery within the next week.

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