12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
England coach Clive Woodward has told his players they must commit to the three-Test tour of Australia and New Zealand in June if they want to play in this season's Six Nations and the 33-year-old Johnson is reportedly unwilling to make that commitment.
Johnson is to discuss his decision with Woodward this week. England open their defence of the championship against Italy in Rome on Feb 15.
He has captained England 39 times during his 84 Tests, and played in the Five Nations Grand Slam in 1995 and Six Nations Grand Slam in 2003. He made his debut for England with a win against France at Twickenham in 1993. He also led the British and Irish Lions twice, winning the South African series in 1997 but losing in Australia in 2001.
Woodward was reported to have drawn up a shortlist to replace Johnson as captain that does not include fly-half star Jonny Wilkinson.
They are former skipper and No 8 Lawrence Dallaglio, scrum-half Matt Dawson, blindside flanker Richard Hill and prop Phil Vickery.
Dallaglio, who was Johnson's predecessor as England captain, admitted he would love to regain his position if Johnson retires. Dallaglio held the post until drug revelations, which he denied, forced him to step down in 1999.
"I'm fairly realistic and philosophical about it," he said, "Form is going to be the most decisive factor in any decision and I am playing well."