By Joseph Hayes
He flashed a bright smile and appeared as happy as the people eagerly waiting to meet with him.
Detroit Lions second year running back Kerryon Johnson arrived in the Blue Water Area Saturday at Rightway Auto Sales in Fort Gratiot ready to take in the sights and sounds of the area.
The Detroit Lions starting running back has been nursing an injury the past several weeks, but recently returned to practice and was greeted with a get well card from onlookers at a signing event in Fort Gratiot.
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“I’ve never been to the area and I like to visit as many places as I can,” Johnson said in between talking to fans. “Being able to show face, it’s really cool to connect with the normal people who are around who look up to you and are fans and see how far the reach is.
“I’m from Alabama and there are no professional sports teams. It took me an hour and 15 minutes from the (Detroit Lions) facility to get here and people are still huge fans and still go down and watch games. It’s crazy and it’s a privilege to be here.”
Johnson wasn’t the only person who was delighted to be in attendance. Many fans showed up with Detroit Lions apparel on and even more for Johnson to sign.
Port Huron resident Shaun Robinson flashed a smile as he conversed with Johnson.
“I was surprised when I saw they were having this on Facebook,” Robinson said. “A current player, who is a starter. I got his jersey for Christmas last year.
“He is one of my favorites. If he stays healthy, I’m expecting big things from him.”
That hopeful attitude seemed to spread in the air, from fan to fan, as they took turns getting their sports cards, jerseys and footballs signed by Johnson.
“It’s awesome to be able to bring him here and have him on board with Rightway,” sales associate Adam Hutchinson said. “Seeing all of the smiles on all of kids faces have been fantastic all day.
“Seeing such a big name come to Port Huron is nice. It’s nice having this come to town and in the area.”
As for Johnson, he remains on the mend getting closer and closer to being able to play. He was placed on injured reserve after suffering a knee injury during Week 7 against the Minnesota Vikings and is eligible to return Week 16 against the Denver Broncos.
“I’m still a week away from being able to play,” Johnson said. “And then we’ll see. I’m going to do whatever they tell me.”