Ex-Cats

Former UK receiver Stevie Johnson to undergo knee surgery

The Chargers’ Stevie Johnson was assisted off the field Sunday afternoon after running a play and was unable to resume practice.
The Chargers’ Stevie Johnson was assisted off the field Sunday afternoon after running a play and was unable to resume practice. The San Diego Union-Tribune

The San Diego Chargers know Stevie Johnson soon will undergo surgery on a right knee injury he suffered Sunday.

As for the rest, they won’t learn until afterward.

Johnson injured his meniscus shortly after making a diving catch on a 7-on-7 drill during the second day of training camp. Neither the full extent of the damage nor his recovery timetable will be known until after the procedure is performed, Coach Mike McCoy said Monday. He added the surgery will occur sometime in the “next couple days.”

It’s too soon to say what all of this means for the wide receiver’s return to the field.

But certainly, that hope that currently remains that he could play in 2016 is something of a relief after Johnson was unable to put pressure on his right leg Sunday when being helped off the field. The 30-year-old, if healthy, projects to see a good number of snaps this season, particularly when the team is in its “11” personnel grouping — one tight end, one running back, three wide receivers.

“We’ll have a better idea on how long he’ll be out once that procedure takes place,” Coach Mike McCoy said. “But I can’t give you any dates or anything like that. We’ll give you some rough estimates after he gets it cleaned up. It’s an unfortunate situation for everything he’s done at this time. We’d love for him to be ready (for the Sept. 11 regular season opener), but like I said, we’ll see. ... Hopefully, we’ll have more information in a couple days.”

Tyrell Williams, a second-year pro, has seen extra work with the first-team offense in Johnson’s absence.

Williams also worked heavily with the ones when a hamstring injury limited Travis Benjamin this spring. Benjamin seems back to full strength this training camp, running at full speed opposite Keenan Allen. Dontrelle Inman also has seen plenty of wide-receiver reps in the early going of camp.

Monday was the first day in pads.

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