Chris Johnson makes Jets debut ... sort of

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- After sitting out three weeks of voluntary practices, running back Chris Johnson made his debut Tuesday at the New York Jets' mandatory minicamp. Let's call it a limited debut.

Johnson, five months removed from knee surgery, participated in individual and positional drills for the first time. He took handoffs and ran against air (no defense) and he caught passes out of the backfield, showing the ability to cut and change direction. He still wasn't full speed, though, and he didn't participate in team drills, as expected. But it was his first time on a field since the end of last season with the Tennessee Titans.

The Jets are taking a cautious approach with Johnson, with the goal of getting him ready for the Sept. 7 season opener. Rex Ryan said he doesn't expect Johnson to take part in team drills over the next couple of days. Asked about training camp, which opens July 23, Ryan was non-committal on how much Johnson will be involved. Chances are, they will bring him along slowly, as they did in the past with injured veterans such as LaRon Landry and Kellen Winslow. In other words, look for a modified practice regimen in training camp.

The Jets signed Johnson to a two-year, $8 million contract and they expect him to be a key contributor.