Colts waive DT Johnson after drug possession arrest

Updated: September 10, 2008, 9:18 PM ET
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Less than 24 hours after Indianapolis Colts starting defensive tackle Ed Johnson was arrested on a drug possession charge early Wednesday, the team said it would waive him.

Colts president Bill Polian said the team would waive Johnson Thursday. He said the Colts consider every violation of a team rule or NFL policy on a case-by-case basis.

Ed Johnson

Johnson

"In this particular case, Ed was well aware that his past history required him to be in complete compliance with club rules," Polian said.

Polian said Johnson was repeatedly told that during the offseason, and was reminded as recently as Tuesday of coach Tony Dungy's rules of behavior.

"Unfortunately, he chose to violate those rules," Polian said.

Polian said Johnson was stopped for speeding between midnight and 1 a.m. on Interstate 465 just north of Indianapolis. Police also charged him with marijuana possession.

He later was released on bond from the Hamilton County Jail.

Johnson was temporarily expelled from Penn State in 2005 for violating the school policy on sexual misconduct and confining another student against the student's will. He was reinstated in 2006, but later suspended for the Outback Bowl for violating team rules.

Once considered a first-day draft prospect, the big defensive tackle went undrafted in 2007 draft.

"We had a talk with him and I thought he was going in the right direction," Dungy said last summer when Johnson was trying to make the team. "He has to understand the environment he's coming into and what we expect from him."

Johnson's past indiscretions could also have an impact on whether the league takes action.

"As in any other incident of this nature, it will be reviewed under the league's substance abuse policy," league spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "A player's prior history can be considered in evaluating potential discipline under the program."

The 6-foot-2, 296-pound Johnson was the biggest surprise in training camp last year. He took advantage of an injury-depleted defensive line to start all 16 games, finishing with 63 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.

The Colts (0-1) had even bigger expectations for Johnson this year, but Wednesday's arrest has the Colts reassessing those plans.

Johnson was not in the locker room Wednesday to answer questions.

The arrest couldn't have come at a worse time for the Colts. They allowed Chicago to run for 183 yards and average 4.7 yards per carry in a season-opening 29-13 loss and now face back-to-back games against two of the NFL's best running tandems: Minnesota's Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor, and Jacksonville's Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew.

One option for Dungy is moving 274-pound defensive end Raheem Brock inside, where he was the starter last season. Second-year player Keyunta Dawson is the other starter. They also could use their most experienced tackle, Darrell Reid, in the lineup.

The only other tackles on the active roster are Eric Foster, an undrafted rookie, and Daniel Muir, who was claimed off waivers last week from Green Bay.

It's the third legal incident involving a Colts player since April. Police charged running back Kenton Keith with criminal trespassing after refusing to leave the parking lot of a nightclub. He has since been cut.

Perennial Pro Bowl receiver Marvin Harrison was interviewed by police about a shooting near his North Philadelphia car wash in the spring. He wasn't charged.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press