Bengals' Johnson takes part in drills, but hasn't regained old form

Updated: June 19, 2008, 12:20 PM ET
Associated Press

CINCINNATI -- Receiver Chad Johnson fully participated in drills for the first time Saturday as the Cincinnati Bengals wrapped up their minicamp.

Johnson
Johnson

The disgruntled receiver limited himself to a few drills during workouts on Thursday and Friday, complaining through his agent that he has a bad ankle. He looked fine during a workout on Saturday, catching passes from Carson Palmer.

He declined to talk to the media again, other than to say "Vote for Obama" as he walked off the field -- apparently throwing his support behind Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

"I think it's been good for him to get back into the flow of things," coach Marvin Lewis said. "We still have to get some clarity on the ankle and being able to deal with that because it is something we dealt with a year ago."

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Johnson has been lobbying for a trade since the Bengals went 7-9 last season and fans grew weary of his complaints that he's no longer appreciated in Cincinnati. The Bengals refused to deal him, and Johnson threatened to sit out the season. He didn't attend any of the team's voluntary workouts.

He faced a fine if he didn't attend the mandatory, three-day minicamp. Although he showed up for the first day of workouts on Thursday, he barely participated. Agent Drew Rosenhaus said Johnson was bothered by a sore ankle that might need surgery.

The Bengals later said Johnson had an ankle problem last season. The team had urged him to get it surgically cleaned out after the final game, but he chose not to do so.

Johnson was downcast and had little interaction with teammates during the first day of workouts. He was more upbeat the last two days.

Offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski talked to Johnson at the end of Saturday's workout.

"He's rusty," Bratkowski said. "I told him he looked rusty. Nobody likes to hear that. He's going against guys who have been out here for 14, 16 [voluntary] practices, you know. You're going to look that way."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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