Lions signing journeyman QB Josh Johnson after injury to Tom Savage
Allen Park — Needing depth at quarterback after backup Tom Savage suffered a concussion in the preseason opener, the Detroit Lions have signed veteran Josh Johnson on Saturday.
The team also added running back Justin Stockton. To make room on the roster, the team placed wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and defensive tackle Darius Kilgo on injured reserve.
Detroit will be Johnson's 13th NFL stop. A fifth-round draft pick out of the University of San Diego, he played for Washington last season, appearing in four games, including three starts.
Prior to those appearances, Johnson hadn't started a game, or even thrown a regular season pass since 2011, when he was with the Tampa Bay Bucs.
“It’s always difficult to bring a quarterback in kind of mid-training camp," Lions coach Matt Patricia said. "One of the things we try to look for is any sort of familiarity with the players that we bring in. ...He spent time with our quarterbacks coach (Sean Ryan) down in Houston, so they have a great working relationship down there and just knowing Josh as a person, competing and in that world, it was just easy."
For his career, Johnson has completed 55.2 percent of his passes for 1,632 yards, eight touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He has also showcased some mobility during his pro career, rushing for 394 yards on 67 carries.
Patricia confirmed Savage is in concussion protocol after the side of his helmet smashed against the Ford Field turf while being sacked in the preseason opener Thursday night. The quarterback struggled to get to his feet after the hit and was immediately taken to the locker room for evaluation.
As for Stockton, he returns to Detroit after finishing last season on the team's practice squad. The 5-foot-10, 205-pounder went undrafted out of Texas Tech in 2018, where he averaged 5.8 yards on 294 carries.
He also briefly played for the Arizona Hotshots, of the defunct AAF. There he carried the ball 43 times for 233 yards and a touchdown.
The Lions have three more practices — Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday — before flying to Houston for joint practices and a preseason game with the Houston Texans.