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Broncos add former Tennessee linebacker AJ Johnson to roster

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Following acquittal, Johnson gets his shot at the NFL.

Tennessee v South Carolina Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Not too long ago, it looked as if former Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson would never get an opportunity to play in the NFL.

Amidst a lengthy investigation following a rape accusation back in 2014, Johnson’s outstanding collegiate career was cut short and the opportunity to play in the NFL had seemingly diminished.

Last month, Johnson—along with former teammate Michael Williams—was acquitted of those charges in a Knox County courtroom.

While the court’s decision certainly lifted a weight off of Johnson’s shoulders, it appeared that his best chances of pursuing an NFL career had likely passed him, having not played in over four years.

On Monday, an opportunity finally presented itself, as Johnson had been picked up by the Denver Broncos, per a report from Denver CBS 4 reporter, Michael Spencer.

In his three-plus seasons at Tennessee, Johnson accomplished several accolades before the accusation halted his playing career during the 2014 season. During his freshman season in 2011, Johnson was named to the FWAA Freshman All-American team. During his sophomore campaign in 2012, Johnson lead the SEC 138 and in 2013, he was named to first team All-SEC.

While the accusation, suspension, and subsequent trial cost him a shot at the NFL Draft, Johnson now has a chance to prove himself in the league—as well as make up for lost time.