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Johnson Returns to OTAs on Monday

Posted Jun 5, 2017

After a week-long absence, CB Trumaine Johnson returned to OTAs after tending to a personal matter.

After a week-long absence, cornerback Trumaine Johnson returned to participate in the Rams’ offseason program on Monday.

Johnson said he was dealing with “a personal situation that I needed to handle. That’s about it.”

Asked if he stayed away for a contract-related reason, Johnson replied, “Oh no, not at all. Not at all. No contract. Like I said, it’s a personal situation that I needed to take care of. I’m glad to be back.”

Johnson’s absence became a story last week after head coach Sean McVay said he wasn’t sure why the cornerback did not attend Tuesday’s practice. But after that session, coach and player got in touch with one another and worked everything out.

“He just had some things going on that he had to take care of,” McVay said. “But he let us know about that after that absence on [Tuesday] and we appreciate him communicating that to us. And we knew he was going to be back ready to roll today.”

The cornerback said he understood last week’s situation was “a distraction,” adding he has to do a better job of communicating with the team.

Additionally, Johnson acknowledged he has some catch-up work to do after missing time on the practice field, though that shouldn’t be too much of an issue given it’s still June.

“There’s always room to get better. Technique-wise, when you miss a few days — I missed a week — it’s a little shaky,” Johnson said. “But it’s football and you get back into the swing of things [and get] better in practice.”

One reason Johnson’s contract came up is because he’s playing under the franchise tender for the second year in a row. General manager Les Snead has maintained throughout the offseason Los Angeles would like to get through OTAs and minicamp before revisiting a contract extension with the cornerback. According to Snead, that will give the Rams time to evaluate Johnson’s fit within defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ scheme prior to the mid-July deadline.

Johnson didn’t say much about his contract situation on Monday, telling reporters, “Right now, I’m happy to be here and playing ‘ball. I’m controlling what I can control. And when that contract stuff comes up, I’ll handle it.”

The cornerback added it doesn’t bother him when he hears the talk of evaluating the fit in Phillips’ defense.

“I’m a complete corner. I can play man, I can play off, I can play zone — I can play waterboy,” Johnson said with a laugh. “I can play anything y’all want me to play, man. So this is my sixth year — I’m not a rookie. Just taking it all in.”

While Johnson returned to practice on Monday, offensive lineman Greg Robinson and outside linebacker Connor Barwin did not attend the session. McVay said both were tending to personal matters and are expected back either over the next few days or for next week’s minicamp.