EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - As the ball floated through the air once it left Dane Evans' hand at MetLife Stadium, Marcus Johnson said everything went into slow motion. He had a lot of time to think.
He thought about making the play, running after the catch, scoring the touchdown. No, secure the ball, bring it in first.
Johnson thought about a lot of things during that instant of slow motion.
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For the first time in a week, though, none of his thoughts were about flood damage or boat rescues or pop-up shelters. For a few hours on Thursday night, Johnson was just a football player playing football, trying to make a roster.
"That's one of the few places where you can go out on the field and clear your mind and not have to worry about anything else than what's at hand," Johnson said. "That's always good. And like I was saying earlier, Harvey's gone for the most part. Health-wise, my family is OK. All the property, anything lost, that can be replaced. The city will rebuild and come back stronger than ever. That's the most important thing."
Johnson, whose hometown of League City, Texas (near Houston), was ravaged by Hurricane Harvey, didn't overthink it on Thursday night. He pulled in the pass from Evans on a run-pass option play and took it 41 yards to the house. It wasn't a perfect game for Johnson; he had just one catch on four targets.
But the touchdown in the fourth quarter of Thursday's preseason finale was a nice cap on a really good summer for the second-year wideout out of Texas. After getting hurt last summer, Johnson didn't just stay healthy this year, he thrived. At times, when Alshon Jeffery missed practice, Johnson even got first-team reps. It seems like he's going to be on the Eagles' 53-man roster, but nothing is guaranteed. The roster must be completely trimmed by 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Does he think he did enough?
"I feel like I've done a great job, but nothing's official until it's official," Johnson said. "I don't know. That's a coach's decision. All I can do, like I said from Day 1, was present the best version of myself. I wouldn't say today was my best game. Did some things well, some things weren't good. For the most part, I feel like my consistency has been key."
Johnson reiterated that his immediate family is OK in Texas. They didn't have flood damage. Some other relatives and neighbors weren't that lucky. But they're all healthy. It's just property damage and "anything lost can be replaced."
For the next couple of days, Johnson's thoughts will likely ping-pong back and forth between his hometown and his pending fate with the Eagles. He plans on enjoying the weekend in Philadelphia with his girlfriend.