Friday, October 2, 2015, 6:45pm
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (knee, questionable) took limited practice reps all week and is questionable for Week 4. Ellington is expected to play per Josina Anderson but is officially a game-time decision. HC Bruce Arians expects that Chris Johnson will continue to get “15-20” touches even when Ellington returns to the fold. No word on whether this is a permanent situation, but Arians is apparently pleased with Johnson’s production this season. He has 219 yards and two touchdowns on 52 carries. The team may elect to let Ellington heal fully since they are getting good production out of the running back position without him.
Thursday, October 1, 2015, 7:11pm
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (knee) took limited practice reps Wednesday. HC Bruce Arians expects that Chris Johnson will continue to get “15-20” touches even when Ellington returns to the fold. No word on if this is a permanent situation, but Arians is apparently pleased with Johnson’s production this season. He has 219 yards and two touchdowns on 52 carries. The team may elect to let Ellington heal fully since they are getting good production out of the running back position without him.
Friday, September 25, 2015, 7:02pm
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (knee, doubtful) returned to take limited reps Friday after missing practice earlier in the week and is doubtful for Week 3. Ellington’s surprise return gives him a chance to play this week, but Chris Johnson and David Johnson have done a pretty good job of holding down the fort, so there’s no need to rush him back. If he does play, he’ll be limited.
Thursday, September 24, 2015, 6:16pm
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (knee) did not practice Wednesday. The team is hoping that Ellington can return in Week 4, but Chris Johnson and David Johnson have done a pretty good job of holding down the fort, so there’s no need to rush Ellington back.
The rookie running back looked very good with limited touches, and even with the talent easy to see – and the fans clamoring for more – Bruce Arians was simply not going to increase the back’s workload too far, too fast. Eventually, in 2013, Andre Ellington was allowed to do more.
David Johnson, the Cardinals’ current rookie running back, has been spectacular in his brief and sheltered NFL career. In two games – and with only nine touches – Johnson has three touchdowns, including a franchise-record 108-yard kickoff return and a 55-yard
reception. The small sample size has produced 8.4 yards a carry, and 75.5 yards per kickoff return.
But like Ellington – and Arians acknowledged his handling of Johnson and Ellington is “very similar” – Johnson’s role will likely continue to be limited. In 2013, Ellington played behind veteran Rashard Mendenhall. In 2015, Johnson is behind veteran Chris Johnson – and when Ellington returns from his knee injury, he too will jump ahead of the rookie.
None of this is a surprise.
“I definitely talked to Andre a lot about what he did his rookie year,” David Johnson said. “He said the same thing: Be patient and it will come to me. B.A. knows exactly what he wants out of the team.”
Arians said last week he wants his rookies to earn their playing time. Then someone like David Johnson comes up with multiple explosive plays, and it seems counterintuitive to leave such ability on the bench, the story said. The story went on to say the reasoning isn’t about rookie versus veteran, necessarily. It’s a very real concern that too much responsibility would slow Johnson down – especially after Johnson missed a chunk of training camp with a hamstring injury. Pass protection was specifically mentioned, and always seems to come up with rookie RBs. Like Johnson, fantasy owners will have to be patient, too.
Monday, September 21, 2015, 9:32am
Palmer threw for 185 yards on 17-for-24 passing, while targeting eight different receivers, but four of his completions went for touchdowns, including a flea-flicker in the third quarter. The Bears bit on a run-action on Chris Johnson, who tossed the ball back to Palmer, who then hit Larry Fitzgerald for a 28-yard touchdown.
Arizona ran for only one of its five offensive touchdowns.
It was David Johnson who ironically had the team's only rushing touchdown. He also had a kick return TD as well. Johnson still only have five carries on the day but sure made the most of them. Many thought Johnson wouldn't be involved all that much, and while that was technically true, he sure made the most of his five carries. It's going to be hard for the Cards to keep touches away from Johnson even if Chris Johnson continues to play well. He's probably still a risky play but David Johnson is also worth a pickup if you can afford to stash him.
"This week, he will be the No. 1 running back, hands down," said Weinfuss, who said that should include goal-line and third-down work.
Although David Johnson had a breakout moment with his 55-yard touchdown catch to clinch a 31-19 victory over the New Orleans Saints last week, Weinfuss said he doesn't expect a time share. He pointed out that David Johnson played only five snaps last week with zero carries.
Weinfuss event went on to say that if CJ2K plays well in Ellington's absence, he may even hold on to the job. Chris Johnson looks like a solid pickup right now, and maybe even beyond, for those looking to boost their RB position.
Friday, September 18, 2015, 6:37pm
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (knee, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 2. Chris Johnson should lead the backfield in touches, but David Johnson will be in the mix, especially in the passing game.
Thursday, September 17, 2015, 6:09pm
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (knee) missed practice again Thursday. Ellington hasn’t been ruled out but he’s not expected to play. Chris Johnson should lead the backfield in touches, but David Johnson will be in the mix, especially in the passing game.
The Arizona Cardinals saw the future of their rushing game Sunday night.
And they liked it.
When starting running back Andre Ellington left the game with what the team believes to be a posterior cruciate ligament injury in his right knee, Arizona was forced to rely Chris Johnson and David Johnson for the final 11 minutes, 42 seconds of their 31-19 win over the New Orleans Saints.
Both proved the Cardinals will be in good hands if Ellington were to miss a game because of the injury.
Chris Johnson took over the every-down role for Ellington, which he’d likely continue if Ellington misses time, and ran for 30 of his 37 yards on seven carries in the fourth quarter, an average of 4.28 yards per rush, including a 12-yard run on his first carry after replacing Ellington. He only carried three times prior.
“I thought Chris looked good,” coach Bruce Arians said. “He’ll get more touches and we will feel very confident if he is our lead dog, and then David has been backing him up.”
David Johnson perhaps had the biggest play of the game, a long TD reception to help put the game away against the Saints. If Ellington misses time, David Johnson should get more touches as a result. But it looks like the team will hand things over to Chris Johnson in terms of the workload.Chris Johnson will be worth at least a short term pickup if he's on your waiver wire and Ellington misses time.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015, 8:37pm
Cards RB Chris Johnson went through a full practice Tuesday at full speed and is on pace to play in Thursday night’s preseason finale at Denver. A hamstring injury suffered two days before Arizona’s second preseason game, against San Diego, has kept sidelined.
The plan is for Johnson to get at least between 10 and 12 carries, coach Bruce Arians said Tuesday. But Arians will be cautious with Johnson, keeping an eye on his condition. Too many plays, Arians said, could fatigue Johnson and could lead to him re-pulling his right hamstring.
In his first football since December, Johnson just wants to re-acclimate himself with being on the field.
“Just go out there and try to get in the groove, get some carries,” Johnson said. “I haven’t been tackled since last year. I haven’t played in a full-speed game or anything."
I would still lean toward CJ being on this roster heading into the regular season. But it’s not necessarily a lock, with what David Johnson has shown and Kerwynn Williams still lingering in the background and Stepfan Taylor so valuable on special teams. Can’t keep ’em all.
Johnson may be expendable with the way David Johnson is playing and how Williams played last season.
Monday, August 24, 2015, 8:26pm
"He's healing," Arians said. "He's had these [minor injuries] in the past, and they only lasted a few days, so hopefully it's one of those."
Johnson did not practice Monday.
Johnson hurt his right hamstring on the last play of Thursday's practice, which caused him to miss Saturday's preseason game against San Diego. Arizona plays at Oakland on Sunday.
Chris Johnson wasn’t able to stay healthy for long in Arizona.
Johnson, the running back signed by the Cardinals last week, did not play in last night’s preseason game against the Chargers even though the Cardinals had initially planned to get him at least a few carries. Afterward, coach Bruce Arians explained that Johnson pulled a hamstring in Thursday’s practice and will be out for a week or two.
Johnson has been very healthy in his NFL career: The only game he’s ever missed was a meaningless Week 17 game. The Cardinals will try to get him healthy in time for Week One, when they hope he looks like the Chris Johnson of old.
If he’s out two weeks, that means he won’t play at all for the Cardinals, and his first live action in their offense wouldn’t come until the regular season. HC Bruce Arians said about rookie David Johnson that he wouldn't play in the season without the proper time in camp, so it remains to be seen how the team treats CJ2K. The Cards RBs have been banged up all camp and the hope was CJ2K would add some stability.
In drills coming out of the backfield, no one has really been able to cover David Johnson, making one think about the matchup issues he can provide. Now, we wait to see what it looks like in a game.
“I’ve been waiting since January, since the draft, to prove what I’m worth,” Johnson said.
HC Bruce Arians likes to use his running backs as receivers, and this isn’t just about throwing swing passes to a guy — which is why it will be interesting to see how Chris Johnson adapts to the offense. Andre Ellington runs out of the slot and has shown good hands (remember, Arians has said he thinks Ellington could have been a wideout in this league) and that is something Johnson has already shown. There is no fighting the ball when it comes to him.
With the addition of both Johnsons, Ellington suddenly has to compete for touches. He should post solid RB2 numbers in PPR formats, but if he struggles to run the ball -- like he did last year with his 3.3 YPC -- he isn't likely to have a long leash.
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