Buffalo Bills cornerback Taron Johnson has been in and out of the lineup this year dealing with a nagging shoulder labrum injury that he could play through, but wouldn’t fully heal until he had surgery. Today he had that surgery.
Johnson posted this video on his Instagram story Wednesday morning, fueling speculation:
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With the Buffalo Bills all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, the team is getting a head start on the offseason, releasing Kelvin Benjamin and Andre Holmes and also allowing Johnson to have the surgery, which will sideline him indefinitely according to head coach Sunday McDermott. On Wednesday, he said Johnson was not going to go to injured reserve just yet.
Johnson initially injured the shoulder in the season-opening loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He left the game and missed Week 2 before returning against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3. While he only missed the one game and hasn’t been listed on the team’s injury report because he has practiced fully, he’s exited multiple games early with pain after lowering his shoulder into a ball carrier.
In his place, the Bills will use Rafael Bush, the safety and “Big Nickel” slot cornerback, who isn’t super fluid playing against slot receivers but can handle tight ends and run support. The Bills also promoted cornerback Denzel Rice to the roster on Tuesday in anticipation of the surgery. The 6’0”, 196-pound Rice, a former undrafted free agent out of Coastal Carolina University, entered the league in 2015 and has 12 combined tackles (8 solo) and an interception in limited time with the Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns.