admin 14th August 2018

The Broncos made a roster move Monday that gives a college star once indicted on a violent felony charge the chance to make an NFL roster.

A.J. Johnson, a 6-foot-2, 245-pound former Tennessee linebacker and a three-time all-Southeastern Conference selection, is the newest member of Denver’s training camp after the team released linebacker Stansly Maponga.

“It’s a blessing to be a part of the team,” said Johnson, a limited participant Monday in practice. “I’m excited to get out here and start working my tail off.”

Johnson, 26, last played football in 2014 as a Tennessee senior. He was suspended the final three games of the season after allegations that he and teammate Michael Williams sexually assaulted a woman on campus. The pair was indicted on aggravated rape charges in February 2015, entered not-guilty pleas and, nearly 3 1/2 years later, Johnson and Williams were acquitted on all counts in a jury trial. Defense lawyers argued a lack of a rape kit or other physical evidence and highlighted discrepancies between the accuser’s statements, according to The Associated Press.

“I had a lot of faith,” Johnson said, “and I knew God was going to take care of me.”

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