Lewis: Johnson ‘knows what he has at stake’

Marvin Lewis sees the opportunity. So does Larry Johnson. And so begins the latest chapter in Johnson’s career, as a Cincinnati Bengal.

Johnson was introduced during a news conference Tuesday, taking questions with Lewis after signing a contract for the remainder of the season.

“He’s starting from scratch,” Lewis said. “He knows what he has at stake and at risk. He gets an opportunity to start anew, just like anybody would. He’s paid the price for what’s gone on in his past, things he’s said, things he’s done. And it came to a finality in Kansas City. Now he’s here, and it’s a new start, a new opportunity. It’s what we’re all excited about. … He’s learned some lessons, and I think that’s a good thing. We just all have to move forward.”

Johnson said it won’t be difficult starting at the bottom of the Bengals’ depth chart — something he took into consideration — and feels he’s still in good shape despite not playing the last few weeks.

“I’ve been able to see this as an opportunity for me to come in and right some wrongs in my past and have an opportunity to play for a good coach, with a good team and a lot of good players,” Johnson said about why the Bengals were intriguing. “For me, it felt like a great fit.”

How soon we might see Johnson on the field for the Bengals is still unclear. Lewis didn’t have an update on the hip injury to starter Cedric Benson, but wouldn’t rule out the chance Johnson could play against the Raiders.

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