Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Johnson's dislocated ankle "an ugly sight"

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Wide receiver Ron Johnson suffered a gruesome injury in which he dislocated his ankle during the afternoon practice at Eagles training camp.

Johnson's dislocated ankle "an ugly sight"

Wide receiver Ronald Johnson was carted off the practice field after suffering an ankle injury. (Rich Schultz/AP)
Wide receiver Ronald Johnson was carted off the practice field after suffering an ankle injury. (Rich Schultz/AP)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Wide receiver Ron Johnson suffered a gruesome injury in which he dislocated his ankle during the afternoon practice at Eagles training camp.

Johnson attempted to put his ankle back into place but the team medical staff believed he could not because the outside bone of his ankle had broken. The second-year receiver was taken by ambulance to Lehigh Valley Hospital for further evaluation, the team said.

"He tried to reduce it himself and it wouldn't stay in," Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder said. "Dr. Peter DeLuca was with us on the field. He tried to reduce it on the field and it wouldn't stay in, and the reason it wouldn't stay in, we think, was there was a fracture on the outside."

The injury occurred during 7 on 7 drills. Johnson went over the middle and tried to grab a low pass from quarterback Mike Kafka, but he fell over himself.

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"He just fell awkwardly and landed over top of his body," said safety O.J. Atogwe, who held Johnson's hand as he lay on the ground. "Sometimes the body falls in ways it isn't supposed to."

Kafka and several Eagles players turned away after watching the injury.

"He was in a lot pain. It was as an ugly sight, as you heard the crowd 'Oooo' and 'Ahh,'" Burkholder said. "My assistant ... did the right thing by covering it up with a towel so the kid doesn't see it."

Johnson's leg was stablized with an air cast before he was lifted onto the back of a cart. As he was carted off the field, several players came over to offer support and fans gave him an ovation. Johnson pointed his finger to the sky.

Johnson was drafted in the sixth round by the 49ers last year but was released before the season. The Eagles added him to their practice squad where he stayed until the final game of the season when they added him to the 53-man roster. He did not dress for the season finale, however.

"He worked out all offseason like a wild man, and you hate seeing that," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "He’s a great, great kid and a good player, too. He’s a phenomenal player. He really had a chance to do something with our football team."

The Eagles are down two receivers since the start of camp. Riley Cooper broke his left collarbone and will be sidelined for six weeks. He had surgery on Monday. Reid said Sunday that he had no immediate plans to add another receiver, but the Johnson injury -- likely a season-ending one -- may lead to a signing.

The Eagles worked out Travis Cobb, an undrafted rookie, earlier today.

Defensive end Jason Babin had an MRI on his calf and it confirmed the team's original diagnosis of a strain. There is no set timetable for his return, the Eagles said.

FROM EARLIER:

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- The Eagles suffered their second injury to a wide receiver in three days when Ronald Johnson fell to the ground with an apparent ankle injury in Monday's practice. He was carted off the field after the medical staff tended to him for minutes.

There will be more information available after practice.

Johnson, who spent most of the 2011 season on the Eagles practice, was crossing the middle of the field and adjusted for a pass from from Mike Kafka when his ankle seemed to get caught behind him. It twisted in a bad direction and was dangling as he dropped to the ground. His teammates and coach Andy Reid surrounded him while the fans quieted. They gave him an ovation as he was carted off.

The injury could potentially be a major blow to Johnson, who spent the offseason working out in Philadelphia and was eager for training camp. Johnson learned the Eagles' system last season and was promoted to the active roster for the final game.

A USC product who was a sixth-round pick by the 49ers, Johnson was trying to separate himself in a crowded wide receivers corps.

Riley Cooper is already out for six weeks with a fractured collar bone, and the Eagles said Sunday they did not plan on adding to the group. Johnson's injury might change that, because the group went from 12 to 10 in three days. The Eagles worked out undrafted rookie Travis Cobb on Monday morning.

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