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QB Johnson out with minor injury

Brad Johnson could miss 10 practices after getting 15 stitches for a cut knee. ''Everything is fine,'' he says.

By RICK STROUD

© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 25, 2001


TAMPA -- The Bucs first cut came unexpectedly -- five days before training camp.

The team announced that quarterback Brad Johnson will miss at least the first few days of practice after sustaining a deep laceration above his left knee Tuesday after a lamp fell on his leg while he was moving furniture at his home in Tallahassee.

No tendons or ligaments were damaged, and the injury is not considered serious. Johnson, 32, needed 15 stitches to close the wound. Players report to the University of Tampa on Sunday, and the first workout is 8 a.m. Monday.

The Bucs are pinning their Super Bowl hopes on Johnson, a 10th-year pro who signed a five-year, $28-million contract as a free agent. "Everything is fine," Johnson said. "I'm able to walk, but because of where the stitches are, the doctors told me they don't want me to run until they dissolve."

Johnson could miss as many as 10 practices that are scheduled the first week of training camp -- two each day Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and one on Thursday and Saturday.

"Let's not make this bigger than it is," coach Tony Dungy said. "Brad is going to miss a couple of days. But once the stitches heal, he'll be fine."

The injury to Johnson means the Bucs will begin the preseason the way they ended the last two seasons -- with Shaun King at quarterback.

King, 15-9 in two seasons as a starter, is expected to battle Ryan Leaf for the No. 2 quarterback spot.

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