Acquired in the offseason from the Titans, Johnson had knee surgery five months ago.
Johnson said Monday he was given the OK to do individual drills during the team's mandatory minicamp. The 5-foot-11, 203-pound back said he started to feel better faster than he expected to after getting the work.
Jets general manager John Idzik is optimistic Johnson will be ready to go when the Jets head to Cortland, New York.
"We would hope so," Idzik said. "We're taking a little bit more conservative path with some of our guys, I think you've seen, Chris being one of them. There's a couple weeks between now and the 23rd when we report, so we'll see how he is come report date."
"I'm expecting great things out of our backfield in general," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "Adding Chris Johnson to what we already have in Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell, I think we're deep and talented at that spot. Physically, I think our guys have been pleased with him. You see that straight-line speed when he works out. We're taking a slow approach with him. That's why we're not rushing him into minicamp. We want Chris healthy. We want both our Chrises healthy."
Johnson said he feels like he is getting there faster than expected and added that he preferred any work on the field to standing on the sideline.