With the Green Bay Packers facing injuries to their veteran safeties, rookie Anthony Johnson Jr. is prepared to take on a more significant role. He could make his first NFL start on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, which would mark an important step in his young career.
Johnson, who goes by “Ant,” was inactive for the first five games of the season. However, he has played four defensive snaps in each of the last two games. The Packers’ veteran safety Darnell Savage is on injured reserve, and Rudy Ford, the other veteran starter, is questionable with a calf injury, potentially opening the door for Johnson to enter the starting lineup.
Ant Johnson has kept himself ready for this opportunity by preparing to start every week. He believes in focusing on his process and being ready for the moment when his opportunity comes.
The transition from being a consistent starter at Iowa State, where he started a school-record 54 games, to limited playing time in the NFL has been a unique experience for Johnson. He takes a proactive approach to stay engaged even when he’s not on the field, continuously going through checks and staying mentally sharp.
Ant Johnson had positive words for the Packers’ veteran safeties, who welcomed him and have been supportive throughout the season. Rudy Ford, in particular, has been a mentor to Johnson, sharing his seven years of NFL experience and even driving him to practice.
While there are other options to replace the injured safeties, Johnson’s preparation and positive attitude make him a viable candidate to start. He’s excited about the possibility and the opportunity to contribute to the team.
A starting role would be a significant milestone in his NFL journey, allowing him to live out his dream of running out of the tunnel on game day.