After missing nearly a year after a second ACL tear in as many seasons to his left knee, former University of Kentucky football star Micah Johnson returned to action Saturday for the Canadian Football League's Calgary Stampeders.
Johnson, who was Kentucky's Mr. Football in 2005 while at Fort Campbell High School, had two tackles — including a quarterback sack — in his team's 48-3 rout of Ottawa.
"It was amazing to get back out there with the guys," the 27-year-old defensive tackle told the Calgary Sun. "This was my first game. It was my second day in pads. So I'm happy to know my play will improve from here. But I'm happy to get this first one out of the way. I just want to continue to build from here."
Johnson last played for the Stampeders (5-2) on Aug. 16, 2014.
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"Unfortunately, he's had to recover from two serious knee injuries," Stampeders GM/Coach John Hufnagel told the Sun. "But he worked awfully hard in the offseason and during his time on (injured reserve) and all through training camp. ... He feels good and he's confident."
Johnson was one of five Calgary players with a quarterback sack on Saturday.
"It was a great job by Micah," position coach DeVone Claybrooks, a former Stampeder lineman himself from 2009-11, said in a report on the team's website. "He's complaining now because he's sore, and he's mad because no one else is sore. I keep trying to tell him, 'This is your first preseason game technically speaking, so you're going to be sore.' But he's good. He's just trying to work out the kinks and the cobwebs of actual full-speed play so he's doing a good job and he's coming along great."
Johnson, in his third season with the defending league champion Stampeders, has 37 tackles, six quarterback sacks and one interception during his CFL career.
He had one tackle in his only NFL game in 2010 with the Miami Dolphins. He has also spent time — in training camp and/or on the practice squad — with the New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers.