Browns’ Ernest Johnson fulfills NFL dream in breakout performance, LeBron James takes note – .

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Browns’ Ernest Johnson fulfills NFL dream in breakout performance, LeBron James takes note – .


The Cleveland Browns entered their Week 7 game against the Denver Broncos Thursday night hampered by injuries at nearly every position on the field.

The next man mentality was key and Cleveland delivered.

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Cleveland Browns running back Ernest Johnson (30) jumps over Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson (22) during the first half of an NFL football game on Thursday, October 21, 2021 in Cleveland.
(Photo AP/Ron Schwane)

The Browns running D’Ernest Johnson had an outstanding performance to propel Cleveland to a 17-14 victory.

Johnson, who is the third string backer behind Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt made his first start, distinguished himself with 146 rushing yards on 22 carries and scored his first career touchdown in the first quarter. It was on his back that the Browns won the game.

He signed with the Browns in 2019 after his tenure with the Alliance of American Football came to an abrupt end. He played eight games for the Orlando Apollos before joining the Browns later in the year. He spent the last few seasons in a backup role before Chubb and Hunt fell two weeks in a row.

While talking to Erin Andrews, FOX’s secondary reporter in the NFL, an emotional Johnson was at a loss for words. He said it was a dream come true to play in the NFL.

Cleveland Browns running back Ernest Johnson (30) faces the Denver Broncos in the second half of an NFL football game on Thursday, October 21, 2021 in Cleveland. The Browns won 17-14.
(Photo AP/Ron Schwane)

“It’s inexplicable. First of all, I want to thank God. Without him I wouldn’t be here, ”Johnson said. “I want to thank the coach (Stump Mitchell) for just believing in me and the coach (Mike Priefer) for just believing in me and giving me a chance. It’s awesome. Like I said, it was always a dream come true for a chance to come here and play this game and be able to start. “

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Before Johnson signed with the Browns, he worked as a fisherman in the Florida Keys. Andrews asked if he thought this was all possible while he was fishing.

“Playing in the NFL has always been my dream. But being on the fishing boat and just… coming from where I’m from, man, that’s a blessing. Not many people get away with what I did and I just have to thank God because without him, like I said, I wouldn’t be here.

LeBron James even noticed Johnson’s performance.

Case Keenum played as well as the Browns could have hoped. From an injured Baker Mayfield, he was 21 for 33 with 199 passing yards and did not throw an interception. Jarvis Landry had a top five catches for 37 yards. Johnny Stanton had just one touchdown pass from Keenum.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Case Keenum (5) hands the ball over to running back Ernest Johnson (30) during the second half of the NFL team’s football game against the Denver Broncos, on Thursday, October 21, 2021, in Cleveland.
(Photo AP/David Richard)

Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was 23-for-33 with 187 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Courtland Sutton had five catches or 68 yards. Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon III each touched touchdowns in the loss.

Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater throws during the first half of the NFL team's football game against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday, October 21, 2021, in Cleveland.
Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater throws during the first half of the NFL team’s football game against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday, October 21, 2021, in Cleveland.

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The Browns go 4-3 this season. Denver drops to 3-4 with four straight losses.

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