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.
After a long offseason out of work, Chris Johnson has finally found his new NFL home.
Johnson has agreed to terms one a one-year contract with the Cardinals, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reports.
The Cardinals had Johnson in for a physical and workout today, and that revealed that he’s ready to go and fully healed from the shoulder injury he suffered when he was shot this offseason.
Now the question is whether Johnson has anything left. He’s coming off a season in which he had career lows of 155 carries for 663 yards and one touchdown, and he appears to be a far different player now than he was in 2009, when he ran for 2,006 yards. Johnson turns 30 next month and isn’t the player he used to be.
David Johnson and Andre Ellington have been banged up through camp and HC Bruce Arians expressed frustration the team wasn't able to install plays designed for their top-two backs. The thought here is Chris Johnson's skill level will at least allow the team to install that part of their game plan, something they weren't able to do with the other backs on their roster. David Johnson is expected to return to practice on Monday after missing significant time, but if he would miss more time in the future, Arians already stated he wouldn't see the field for real games. Ellington has a history of injuries dating back to last year so Chris Johnson is expected to give the team some security in the running game. Ellington should still be a big factor in the passing game at least and Arians said Ellington would get about 20 touches a game. Johnson may cut into some of Ellington and David Johnson's carries, though.
It looks like Chris Johnson, the former 2,000-yard running back who spent one unceremonious season with the Jets in 2014, might have just found his next NFL employer, following a spring and summer of searching.
Johnson is reportedly scheduled to take a physical in Arizona Saturday.
The Cards offered him a one-year deal earlier in the week after not being happy with their injured backs not getting on the practice field. Johnson was mulling the offer over the last few days so we could be close to making this official. Reports said Johnson would compete for carries behind Andre Ellington.
The threat of Young as a runner helped open things up for Chris Johnson and others.
They average 4.1 yards per carry and 90.4 yards a game a year ago, when they ultimately turned to the immobile Zach Mettenberger as their starter.
Defenses have to be prepared for Mariota to take off at any time, with a designed running play, a zone read play, a bootleg that may turn into a run or a scramble. When a defense is working against an immobile signal-caller, it can neglect him as a run threat. That could be good news for Bishop Sankey, who was expected to make more of an impact than he did last year. The Titans O-line also struggled, which didn't help. Sankey is ranked just 40th on our list of RBs and is available as late as the ninth round in drafts.
The Cardinals are in the market for a veteran running back.
The Cardinals are so banged up at the moment, it can’t hurt to look to see if the 29-year-old Johnson has anything left, the story said. Johnson, who only managed 663 yards with the Jets last year (on a respectable 4.3 yards per attempt), hasn’t looked like CJ2K for quite some time. Andre Ellington, if healthy, is still expected to get about 20 touches a game, according to a report we had last week, and should get a good part of those in receptions which helps his PPR value. David Johnson is the current RB2.
Jets RB Chris Ivory sure looks the part of a 300-carry featured back, but that hasn't been his role. In '13 he and Bilal Powell split the carries almost down the middle, and last season he and Chris Johnson divvied up the touches. He was asked how he's being used this camp and if, despite the backfield company of Powell, Daryl Richardson, Zac Stacy and eventually Stevan Ridley, he can be the proverbial bellcow back in '15.
"Right now I'm doing pretty much everything. I'm just trying to make them feel comfortable with me in there with everything they have me doing," he said. "I'm not sure how that's going to work out, but I'm just looking forward to going in and when my number's called, just performing and making things happen."
Ivory was asked if the "everything" the coaches have had him doing include a greater presence in the passing game. "That could be the case," he said. "I'm ready for that challenge."
Ivory's receiving dimension has been a slow-developing picture. In his first three seasons with New Orleans, he had a total of four passes thrown to him and caught three. In 2013 he had eight targets, caught two and dropped three. Last year things picked up: 18 receptions for a 6.8-yard average, the first receiving TD of his career at Miami, and just one drop.
Chris Johnson is out, Stevan Ridley and Zac Stacy are in, but it doesn’t seem to matter to Ivory, who seems primed to lead the Jets’ backfield in touches in 2015. Ridley is probably his biggest competition, but he’s recovering from a knee injury, so Ivory’s lead seems to be large. Ivory is a career 4.7 YPC runner, and has averaged 4.4 YPC in two seasons with the Jets. Ivory is shaping up to be a nice middle round value, especially in standard leagues. His PPR value would get a boost if they continue to expand his role in the passing game.
There was some consternation, both among fans and media, that the Cowboys lost an integral part of their offense when running back DeMarco Murray signed with the Eagles. But the price -- a five-year, $42 million deal ($21 million guaranteed) -- was prohibitive and the Cowboys were right to look for running back help elsewhere.
A lot can happen between the start of training camp and the regular season, and the Cowboys will no doubt be on the lookout for backs that can help them. And that list could include Chris Johnson, the former Titans first-round pick who struggled with the Jets last season and remains unsigned.
If the Johnson-Cowboys rumors sound familiar, they should; CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora wrote earlier this month that several NFL executives brought up Dallas as a possible landing spot for Johnson. And Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said in May that Johnson was on the team's short list, according to the story. It could be significant news for those targeting, or looking to keep, Joseph Randle.
Ivory has shown he deserves to be the lead back. He has been very good over the past two seasons while always splitting carries.
During the spring, the Jets used Ivory in spread formations a bunch, lining him up as a wide receiver. Spring is sometimes just experimental, but maybe Chan Gailey thinks he can make Ivory a bigger part of the passing game. If Ivory can become a complete back, he has the potential to be one of the best in football.
The story talked about how the former coaching staff often seemed to shy away from Ivory, just as he was about to get going. The author pointed out that the Jets former coaches were afraid of Ivory getting injured and often turned to Chris Johnson, which as we all know now wasn't a good move. Ivory is ranked 27th on our RB list and if he happens to be more involved in the offense, could turn out to be a steal with an ADP of the eighth round. However, at least Ridley and Stacy have proven to be reliable backs at times, and it's hard to imagine them not cutting into Ivory's workload.
Cowboys RB coach Gary Brown broke down the team's backfield:
“I just admired him from afar, watching him on tape. I think he’s big, strong, incredibly fast, tough guy. He’s buying into our system. He wants to be here. He’s doing everything I ask him to do. I’m looking forward to seeing him in pads. … I’ve been out here watching him run. He looks very fast. We’re just looking forward to seeing him in pads in our system.”
“I think Joe really has to make sure he takes care of everything on and off the field. We want to trust Joe, we like Joe, but we want to make sure he’s going to be with us at all times. I think he’s maturing up and he’s getting better and he understands the opportunity he has in front of him and I think he’ll take full advantage. I think those days are behind him and we’re looking forward to working with Joe. … Just being around him these last few weeks, he seems to be more mature to me. He and I have sat down and had one-on-one conversations about his future and I think he wants to go in the right direction.”
“I envision [him getting more opportunities]. I think he’s a hell of a football player, we’ve got to try and get him more involved and I think coach Linehan is going to do a great job doing that. … [He didn’t get more carries last season] because I think the run game was so explosive and DeMarco was running so well. It’s just like anything in life, you’ve got a guy who is hot, you want to ride that guy and make sure he gets his touches and I think we did the right thing by getting him his touches. Obviously with, what was it, 1,800 yards and 13, 14 touchdowns, whatever it was, I think we made the right decision.”
Brown later said he might have been premature not also mentioning Ryan Williams with that group.
The soon-to-be 28-year-old McFadden hasn't cracked 3.5 YPC since the 2011 season, when he ran for 614 yards on 113 carries (5.4 YPC) in seven games. That's the rub with McFadden -- fantasy owners haven't been able to count on his durability. He has missed roughly a quarter of his team's games since entering the league. Randle averaged 6.7 YPC behind the Dallas offensive line last season, but has had a host of off-the-field issues. Dunbar is more of a third down back, while Williams is a former second round pick who has been unable to stay healthy. The team has insinuated that it still may trade for a running back or sign a free agent (like Chris Johnson or perhaps Ray Rice), so the backfield is far from settled. McFadden is currently the first Dallas running back off the board in the 7th round.
Dallas Cowboys site writer David Helman on how the team will use OTAs to evaluate the RB corps:
"Ever since the draft ended, we’ve heard the Cowboys say that they aren’t ruling out the possibility of adding another running back before the season. If I had to take an educated guess, I’d say they’re going to use OTAs and minicamp to take a hard look at the guys on the roster. Those practices should give them a better idea of how well they can handle it. If they aren’t confident in those four by the end of OTAs, I bet they’ll go add another guy this summer."
Regarding the Jets running game, expect Chris Ivory and Stevan Ridley to share the bulk of the load. One of those two might get 20 to 30 carries more than the other guy, but it won't be a huge gap, provided both backs stay healthy all season.
With Chris Johnson out of the way, it looked like Ivory might be one of the more attractive middle round sleepers at his position, but the team’s decision to sign Stevan Ridley has thrown his status up in the air. He’s a career 4.7 YPC runner, and has averaged 4.4 YPC in two seasons with the Jets. It would have made more sense if the Jets had paired Ivory with a speed back/receiving threat like C.J. Spiller, but the arrival of Ridley is a concern. If the two players do indeed split carries, neither will carry much reliable fantasy value.
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