But the identity of those returning home last night was potentially significant and will raise speculation as to where they stand in Johnson's thinking ahead of the Investec Challenge Series.
Those leaving Pennyhill Park included Wasps full-back Josh Lewsey and Gloucester inside centre Olly Barkley plus Leicester hooker George Chuter.
All the players will return to the squad on Sunday night and are still available for selection to play the Pacific Islands on November 8.
But the RFU fought long and hard with the Premiership clubs to secure a weekend off for the elite players ahead of the autumn internationals - so it would seem unlikely any of the eight are at the forefront of Johnson's plans for the Pacific Islanders.
The new England boss said this week: "It is a massive thing guys don't play at the weekend so they can come into the Test week fresh. This gives them the best opportunity to perform."
Johnson's decision will have been influenced by the return to training of Leicester playmaker Toby Flood, Bath hooker Lee Mears and Newcastle centre Jamie Noon, who all came into camp carrying injuries.
The trio play in the same positions as three of those who have returned home in Barkley, Chuter and Leicester's Dan Hipkiss.
Lewsey was recalled into the England squad at the start of the season after being jettisoned by former head coach Brian Ashton but he has been struggling for form in his nominated positions of wing and full-back.
Chuter's departure suggests Mears and Dylan Hartley are competing for the hooker's jersey, while Pete Richards' return to London Irish indicates Danny Care and Harry Ellis are the preferred scrum-half options.
Of the others, Shane Geraghty needs to play competitive rugby having only started two matches for London Irish this season.
And while number eight Jordan Crane returns to Leicester, Nick Easter remains with the England squad after impressing the coaching staff with his attitude and performances this season.
Easter and London Irish full-back Delon Armitage both remain with the England squad as temporary cover for Luke Narraway and Mathew Tait, who are both undergoing treatment on hamstring injuries. A final decision will be made on November 3.