SAN DIEGO -- Cam Johnson may have won himself a second season on the 49ers roster Thursday night, producing two sacks and blocking a punt that he recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.
Will that be enough for Johnson, seemingly the 49ers' fifth outside linebacker, to make Saturday's final cut and the 53-man roster?
Actually, the question is: Can the 49ers carry five outside linebackers when they've typically only employed three under coach Jim Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio?
"After tonight, the way Cam Johnson played, heck yeah we can," Harbaugh replied enthusiastically. "We're the San Francisco 49ers. We can do whatever we want!"
Johnson almost did whatever he wanted in the 41-6 win over the Chargers, closing out his and the 49ers' impressive exhibition season.
"I know I don't have a solid spot on the roster," Johnson said. "I've been working all offseason to get one. I'm just happy to finally see positive things, and I hope for more."
A seventh-round draft pick last year, Johnson missed the final cut but was promptly signed to the practice squad. He got promoted to the active roster in Week 16 but played just 11 snaps thereafter.
Two days after trading away Parys Haralson, the 49ers turned to Dan Skuta, Corey Lemonier and Johnson to fight it out for backup roles behind Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks. Both Skuta and Lemonier had a sack Thursday.
Johnson's second sack really impressed Harbaugh, who said: "I really want to look at that again. From my eye on the field, that was a special play, the way he submarined and had a clean hit."
Johnson's encore came in the third quarter when he blocked a Mike Scifres punt. "I looked around for it, saw it in the end zone and just jumped on it," Johnson said.
Johnson kept the ball, and once Harbaugh gave him another ball after the game, Johnson didn't know which was which.
"I got after it. I tried to get after it every play," Johnson said. "Everything seemed to just be happening the right way."
Johnson will soon find out if he's earned a return trip to the 53-man roster.
"No idea. I'm just waiting to see like everyone else in here. I'm looking forward to it."