Armstead, Johnson set to return to USC practices

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

USC defensive end Armond Armstead, who was slated to start before breaking his foot during preseason camp, has been cleared to play and will return to practice during the Trojans' bye week, according to ESPN.com affiliate WeAreSC.com.

The Trojans also expect to get receiver Ronald Johnson, their top deep threat back this week. Johnson broke his collarbone during preseason practices.

Both then could play for the first time this season at Notre Dame on Oct. 17.

The USC defense has played well without Armstead, ranking fifth nationally in total defense and third in scoring, but the 295-pound Armstead will offer extraordinary size on the perimeter that could be difficult to contend with.

Johnson, meanwhile, would give freshman quarterback Matt Barkley another elite target to complement Damian Williams.

"Those guys will both start working today," coach Pete Carroll said during the Pac-10 teleconference. "I don't know if they are in."