Cleveland Browns running back D’Ernest Johnson is coming off a breakout game on Thursday Night Football, rushing for a career-high 146 yards and a touchdown as the Browns beat the Broncos, 17-14.
Johnson has come a long way. Following the game, Courtney Kramer, a social media manager for the Dallas Stars, tweeted that Johnson messaged the teams asking for a shot while she worked with the Birmingham Iron of the now-abolished Alliance of America Football.
The 24-year-old, third string running back was thrusted in the spotlight with the Browns after the team lost both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to injuries. Coming into last Thursday’s game, Johnson had 40 career carries for 198 yards and no touchdowns.
ohnson went undrafted and attended the New Orleans Saints’ rookie minicamp but was not signed.
After leaving the Saints, Johnson briefly worked on a fishing boat out of Florida with his friend.
Johnson eventually landed with the Orlando Appollo in the AAF and thrived, racking up 332 rushing yards and 220 receiving yards in eight games.
Johnson signed on with the Browns in 2019 and has appeared in every game the last two seasons, though he mostly played on special teams.