Chris Johnson was subsequently released, so Peterson should slide right into the Arizona RB1 role and get the 10-15 carries that he's been asking for from the Saints. The Cardinals have really struggled to run the ball (2.6 YPC, 52 rushing yards per game, both lowest in the league), and there's no guarantee that Peterson will be able to turn that around since he has averaged just 2.4 YPC in his last 64 carries with the Vikings and Saints. He's not a pass-catcher, so Andre Ellington's fantasy value should remain unchanged. As for the Saints, the move creates more opportunity for Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, who should split Peterson's workload, such that it was.
Arians: RB Chris Johnson might move up depth chart but something to sort out this week.
Johnson ran for 44 on 11 carries and outshined Williams in the game who ran for just 22 yards on nine carries. Williams could get some work, but it looks likes Johnson could end up getting the bulk of the carries going forward. Ellington likely remains a change of pace and third down option.
Johnson shouldn't be much of a threat to Williams' workload this week since he was recently re-signed. Keep in mind that the team chose Williams (and others) over Johnson when it was time to trim the roster, so a large long-term role for Johnson is far from guaranteed.
The Cardinals officially placed running back David Johnson on injured reserve, meaning he will miss at least eight weeks before being eligible to return. He will undergo surgery for a dislocated wrist and is expected to miss 2-3 months.
The team also made the signings of running backs Chris Johnson and D.J. Foster official. Foster was signed off the Patriots practice squad. Chris Johnson was with the Cardinals until they released him Sept. 2.
The earliest Johnson could return would be Week 10. The Cardinals play on Thursday that week (11/9), and that would be very close to two months of recovery. A three-month recovery timetable would put Johnson's return around Week 14. Owners need to hold onto Johnson if they can, if only to see how his recovery is shaping up in late October. At that point, if the Cardinals are already out of the playoff hunt (unlikely, but possible), the team will probably just shut Johnson down for the year. In the meantime, Kerwynn Williams is likely to lead the team in carries while Andre Ellington is the favorite to assume most of Johnson's role in the passing game. If the Cardinals do sign Chris Johnson, it puts a dent in Williams' upside as a ballcarrier since the two will be vying for carries on early downs. As far as this week's waiver wire goes, Tarik Cohen (especially in PPR leagues) and Javorius Allen are more attractive pickups than any of the Arizona running backs, but there is certainly a path for Williams and/or Ellington to turn into viable RB2/flex plays.
Cardinals: Bruce Arians says RB David Johnson is seeking a second opinion. Prognosis is a dislocated wrist.
Rapoport: Arians tells reporters David Johnson’s initial prognosis is the same as TJ Logan… who is out 12 weeks.
Caplan: Game changer for Cardinals if he does go on IR. Kerywnn Williams actually did well in 2014 with Cards for 3 game heavy workload.
Related players: Andre Ellington
If the Cardinals do sign Chris Johnson, this will likely turn into a committee with Williams and Johnson vying for carries and Ellington handling David Johnson's duties in the passing game. From a clarity standpoint, it's not easy to pick one to target in waivers, though at this point Williams probably has the most value in standard formats while Ellington is an intriguing pickup in PPR leagues.
Andre Ellington didn’t have an overwhelming statistical night on Saturday against the Raiders, but did show glimpses of the player who once upon a time was the starting running back for the Cardinals.
Ellington finished with 20 rushing yards on seven carries, added four catches for 31 yards, and did not make any mistakes in pass protection.
Ellington’s most notable run was a 15-yarder in which he had nice blocking, and he also had a 13-yard reception.
“He’s healthy for the first time in two years,” coach Bruce Arians said. “He showed it on two or three runs (Saturday) and a couple of passes.”
Related players: Kerwynn Williams
It looked like Williams was going to serve as David Johnson's backup, but now he'll have to compete with Johnson for that role.
NFL rules allow for one player to be eligible to return to the active roster eight weeks after his injured reserve designation, so one of the two could return in early December while the other will miss the rest of the season.
Johnson and Branch are both dealing with groin injuries suffered during Sunday's 17-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Both players are having sports hernia surgery according to reports. Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor are the other two backs on the Cards roster and Ellington has had his share of injuries in his career. The team, on Tuesday, re-signed running back Kerwynn Williams, who was released before the season began.
Chris Johnson was nervous during the Arizona Cardinals’ Red and White practice on Saturday about getting tackled for the first time since fracturing his tibia in Week 12 last season.
He was, in particular, concerned how his knee would hold up, but once he took his first hit, those nerves disappeared.
“Once I got hit the first time, it was like, ‘OK, it feels normal,’” Johnson said.
The 30-year-old running back had 814 yards before his injury, which was fourth most in the NFL through the first 12 weeks. Getting reacquainted to hits was another step for Johnson in his return back from the first major injury of his career, which ended his season. When Johnson went down, David Johnson took over and is expected to get a majority of carries with Chris Johnson backing him up. Chris Johnson could be a serviceable fantasy player if David Johnson ever goes down with an injury.
“In our room I don’t really think we have like a solid starting running back, because with this type of offense, we do so many things as a running back,” Johnson told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday. “(David Johnson) got his things that he’s good at and I got my things that I’m good at, and (Bruce Arians) knows how to get both of us the ball.”
Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin confirmed last week that the Cardinals are going to determine their starting running back on a week-by-week and game-by-game basis.
“Being with (Bruce Arians) since 2007, the hot hand always wins,” Goodwin said. “So, if David is killing, Chris falls back a little bit. If Chris is killing it, vice versa. Obviously there is going to be a lead dog starting every game, but to me if some guy is feeling it that day — if Michael Jordan is feeling it, you keep feeding him the ball. If David is feeling it, keep feeding him the ball. If Chris is feeling it, keep feeding him the ball. So, it’s a good problem to have."
David Johnson is being drafted like he's the clear workhorse for the Cardinals, but that doesn't sound like it's the case. Meanwhile, Chris Johnson is an afterthought in early fantasy drafts and could offer nice value in the final rounds. Remember, the veteran out-touched the rookie 18.4 to 4.9 in the 11 games in which they both played.
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.
RB Chris Johnson is re-signing a one-year deal with Arizona, per source.
Friday, December 4, 2015, 6:28pm
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (toe, out) missed practice all week and is out for Week 13. With Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington both out, David Johnson should see the bulk of the touches against the Rams, who are #18 in RB aFPA. HC Bruce Arians says he could get “up to 25 touches” against the Rams, so he’s a Sneaky Start this week.
Arizona has placed Chris Johnson on the injured reserve/designated to return list, a move that means the only way the running back will play again this season is if the Cardinals reach the Super Bowl.
A person with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday that Johnson chipped or fractured his tibia where it meets his left knee. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not revealed details of the injury.
By being on the list, Johnson can't resume practice for six weeks and can't play in a game for eight weeks. This almost certainly means David Johnson is going to get a chance to have a lot more touches and could at least be the early down replacement for Chris Johnson, with Andre Ellington being involved in the passing game and as a change of pace. David Johnson has had fumbling issues during his rookie year, but does have eight TDs.
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