Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has a challenge most coaches would only wish for. He has three starting running backs in his backfield. On the other hand, he has the unenviable task of dividing one football multiple ways.
“It’s my job to get them the ball enough because they can all do different things,” Arians said.
With Chris Johnson re-signing with the Cardinals in March, the backfield tandem of David Johnson, who’s entering his second season, and Andre Ellington became a trio. All three have started for the Cardinals. All three have rushed for at least 581 yards in a season.
But with David Johnson's emergence in the final five games last year after Chris went down with a fractured tibia, he’s established himself as the Cardinals’ feature back.
“David’s earned the right now to be the bell cow,” Arians said. “Everybody’s got to take it from him. But Chris ran for 800 (yards) and probably would have had 1,200 had he stayed healthy. Andre can break the game open.”
David Johnson finished with 581 yards in his rookie season, 442 of which came in the final five games -- the third most in the NFL during that span. Chris Johnson had 814 yards, fourth most in the league at the time he went down. David Johnson is poised to be one of the top fantasy backs in drafts this summer, but will likely lose some work to Chris Johnson and even Ellington on third down. However, Ellington has struggled to stay healthy over the last few years.