Lonnie Johnson Jr. isn't slotted to be at the safety position when the Houston Texans travel to Tennessee or for any more games this season.
In Week 9 at Miami, Eric Murray started opposite Justin Reid and will do so again against the Titans. When asked about Johnson's diminished playing time at the spot, Head Coach David Culley confirmed that the third-year defensive back had switched positions.
"We've moved him back to corner, which is basically his natural position," Culley said. "Now, he's basically having to relearn that again and getting acclimated to being a corner again, but we feel good about Lonnie (Johnson Jr.) being there. As he starts to get more comfortable there, if we felt like we needed to play Lonnie within that group, we'd put Lonnie out there."
The Texans drafted Johnson in 2019 as a cornerback where he saw action in 14 games with seven starts. That offseason, they moved him to safety, where he played all 16 games last year until now. Recently, Culley met with Johnson to discuss moving Johnson once again. According to Culley, playing Johnson at safety didn't fit in the Texans current defensive scheme anymore, nor did it fit the former second-round draft pick.
"He was more comfortable there," Culley said. "He wasn't as comfortable playing safety. That wasn't natural for him. He had been a corner before we got here, they moved him to safety, and then we tried him back there in our scheme. It just didn't fit what he was athletically. We talked about it and decided the best thing for him to do was to go back to corner. Now that we've got him back there, I think he's comfortable there and will remain there."
Through eight games with five starts this season, Johnson has a team-high three interceptions, which ranks tied for eighth in the NFL. He has also recorded 39 tackles (23 solo), four passes defensed, along with two special teams tackles.
Johnson and the Texans will next travel to Nissan Stadium to play the Titans on Sunday. Kickoff is set for noon CT on CBS and SportsRadio 610.
The next time you can see the Texans at NRG Stadium will be on November 28 as they host the New York Jets in Week 12. Kickoff is set for noon CT. Click here for tickets.