Johnson expressed confidence in his durability and anticipation for a new beginning with the Texans, Sarah Barshop of EPSN.com reports.
The narrative about Johnson's decline since 2016 is out there after the 28-year-old running back has dealt with injuries and a suspect supporting cast in recent seasons.The one full season he played, 2018, was for the league's lowest-ranked offense, 32nd in rushing and passing. "Just going back to my rookie year of doing everything that I can to make sure that my body is healthy and starting a clean slate for sure with a new team," said Johnson. He enters the offseason as the top back, ahead of incumbent back Duke Johnson, and talks like he has a chip on his shoulder. Having a dynamic quarterback like Deshaun Watson could also boost Johnson's value.
Johnson passed his physical Wednesday, making his trade to the Texans official, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Johnson dealt with an ankle injury last season and effectively had his 2017 campaign derailed by a dislocated wrist, but he wasn't expected to have any medical red flags heading into the physical. With his health now intact, he'll now be looking to rebound in Houston after a disappointing finish to his tenure in Arizona. The 28-year-old's production has been lackluster since he turned in monster fantasy numbers in 2016, but a change in scenery and a clear spot atop Houston's depth chart could help Johnson -- who logged just 94 carries while catching 36 passes in 13 games in 2019 - engineer a bounce-back effort in 2020. He'll work in tandem out of the backfield with pass-catching ace Duke Johnson.
The Cardinals traded Johnson, a 2020 second-round pick and a 2021 fourth-round selection for DeAndre Hopkins and a 2020 fourth-round pick, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports.
In what may become the blockbuster move of the 2020 offseason, the Texans opt to settle their backfield situation but in exchange give up one of the league's most reliable wide receivers. Johnson will join forces with Duke Johnson at running back with Houston moving on from unrestricted free agents Lamar Miller (knee) and Carlos Hyde.
The Cardinals traded Johnson to the Texans on Monday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Specifics are to follow on what the Cardinals received in return. Less than two years removed from inking Johnson to a massive extension, the Cardinals have moved on after back-to-back lackluster seasons. The transaction was forecast by the team placing the transition tag on Kenyan Drake, who exploded on the scene in 2019 after his trade to the desert midseason. Johnson will join Duke Johnson in the Houston backfield with Lamar Miller (knee) and Carlos Hyde set to become unrestricted free agents.
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said Johnson won't be released this offseason, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports. "Cutting him is not an option," Keim said. "You can't just have one back."
Keim merely states the obvious, considering Johnson's three-year, $39 million extension includes a fully guaranteed $10.2 million base salary for 2020, per overthecap.com. A trade isn't out of the question, but the Cardinals presumably would need to give up something else -- or renegotiate Johnson's contract to eat some of the salary -- to facilitate a trade for for a 28-year-old running back, who hasn't looked especially good since 2016. Johnson did produce 10.3 yards per catch and 7.9 per target in 2019, so he still has value for passing downs if nothing else. Fellow running back Kenyan Drake can become an unrestricted free agent in March, while Chase Edmonds has two years remaining on his rookie contract.
Johnson compiled 94 carries for 345 yards and two touchdowns and hauled in 36 of 47 passes for 370 yards and four more TDs in 13 games this season.
Johnson signed a lucrative three-year extension on the eve of the 2018 campaign, but he's disappointed in 29 appearances in the interim. His pass-catching acumen is clear, as evidenced by a catch rate of 69.9 percent (86 receptions on 123 targets) and 9.5 yards per catch. His performance on the ground has been a different story. Managing only 3.7 yards per rush during that stretch, Johnson effectively was benched in 2019 in favor of midseason trade acquisition Kenyan Drake, who tore it up after arriving in Arizona. Drake will be an unrestricted free agent in March, so the Cardinals' brass may have a difficult decision to make. In any event, the dead cap hit on Johnson's contract is onerous ($16.2 million), meaning he's a great bet to be donning cardinal, black and white yet again next season. Whether or not he'll be a starter or merely a passing-down option remains to be seen.
Johnson took two carries for three yards and posted one reception (on one target) for four yards during Sunday's 27-13 win at Seattle.
Johnson started each of the Cardinals' first seven games of the season, only to injure his ankle Week 7 and miss two contests as a result. Upon his return, he got the nod again, but the lead back role remained in the hands of midseason trade acquisition Kenyan Drake. Johnson's usage has been minimal in the meantime, and while he joined Drake in the starting lineup this past Sunday, he did little with his four touches. With one game remaining on the schedule, Johnson may be running out of time to stake any sort of claim to this backfield beyond 2019, even with Drake slated to be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.
Johnson had three carries for six yards and returned one kickoff for 24 yards during Sunday's 38-24 win against the Browns.
Johnson's totes came on the Cardinals' first possession, a drive late in the second quarter, and then on the second-to-last play of the game as the offense was attempting to burn the clock. Meanwhile, Kenyan Drake again dominated touches out of the backfield, turning 23 carries and catches into 146 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns on the ground. Their usage was reflected in their respective snap counts: Drake handled 46 of 61 on offense while Johnson got only 13. Such has been the trend since Johnson returned in Week 10 from a two-game absence, and his reduced role likely will extend through the season finale, barring an injury to Drake.
Johnson ran for 19 yards on three carries and caught both of his targets for 34 receiving yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 23-17 loss to Pittsburgh.
The 2016 All-Pro back has been relegated to a part-time role since the arrival of Kenyan Drake, collecting a surprisingly slim workload of 5.7 offensive touches per game since Week 10. Prior to Drake's Cardinals debut Oct. 31, Johnson had averaged 17.7 combined rush attempts and receptions per game. With most leagues in the midst of the fantasy playoffs, Johnson is hard to trust, even going up against a Cleveland defense in Week 15 that allows nearly 4.8 yards per carry to opposing running backs.
Johnson carried the ball four times for 15 yards and caught both his targets for nine yards in Sunday's 34-7 loss to the Rams,
Kenyan Drake saw 15 touches to Johnson's six on the afternoon while Chase Edmonds got zero, so the pecking order in the Cards' backfield doesn't seem to have changed coming out of the team's bye. Johnson' inability to break a big play with his limited workload doesn't make a good argument for more action, but the whole offense struggled in this one. He'll likely handle No. 2 duties again next week against a stingy Steelers defense.
Johnson has an undetermined role in the Cardinals offense as the team prepares for a Week 13 matchup with the Rams, Kyle Odegard of the team's official site reports.
Kenyan Drake has usurped the No. 1 spot on the depth chart since arriving in Arizona from Miami prior to Week 9. In three contests before the Cardinals' Week 12 bye, Drake totaled 41 carries and 16 catches. Meanwhile, Johnson was active twice during that span, but all six of his touches occurred Week 10. Adding another variable to the equation is the potential return of Chase Edmonds (hamstring), who practiced in a limited capacity Wednesday. Drake appears to be the only known quantity in Arizona's backfield, leaving Johnson and Edmonds in limbo.
Johnson failed to touch the ball in Sunday's 36-26 loss to the 49ers.
Coach Kliff Kingsbury suggested during the week he would use a backfield committee Sunday, but it turned out to be a committee of one as Kenyan Drake turned 22 touches into 80 scrimmage yards. It's not clear whether Johnson's lack of use was due to strategy, him still not being 100 percent or some other reason, but his relegation to a backup role since the acquisition of Drake is a serious concern to anyone with fantasy shares in the RB. The Cards will be on bye Week 12, and Chase Edmonds (hamstring) could get healthy during the break, creating even more competition for Johnson down the stretch.
Coach Kliff Kingsbury said after Friday's practice that Johnson will be included in a "committee" at running back with Kenyan Drake during Sunday's game against the 49ers, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports.
The absence of Chase Edmonds (hamstring) at least spares Johnson and Drake of another potential threat, but both backs may struggle to deliver useful fantasy production while sharing work against a stout 49ers defense. Though Drake appeared to be working with the first-team offense in the portion of practice Friday that was open to the media, Kingsbury declined to name a starter and said both backs would have distinct packages in Sunday's game. If the workload distribution during last week's loss to the Buccaneers provides any indication of how things will shake out versus San Francisco, Drake -- who played 64 percent of the offensive snaps and totaled 16 touches -- would offer a higher floor than Johnson (43 percent, six touches).
Johnson appeared to be taking reps with the Cardinals' second-team offense during Friday's practice, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports.
Though Johnson hasn't appeared on the Cardinals' Week 11 injury report, his performance in last week's loss to the Buccaneers suggested he was still slowed by the ankle injury that kept him sidelined for the previous two contests. Johnson played only 43 percent of the offensive snaps against Tampa Bay, logging five carries for two yards and one reception for eight yards. Meanwhile, Kenyan Drake -- who was spotted taking the first-team reps Friday -- paced the Arizona backfield with a 64 percent snap share, parlaying the high play count into 10 carries for 35 yards and six catches for six yards. The poor efficiency from both Drake and Johnson doesn't figure to improve much Sunday versus a tough San Francisco defense, but based on how the workload breakdown is shaping up, Drake profiles as the better fantasy option of the two.
Johnson was benched by coach Kilff Kingsbury for the fourth quarter of Sunday's 30-27 loss at Tampa Bay in favor of Kenyan Drake, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports.
With Chase Edmonds (hamstring) sidelined, Johnson and Drake were expected to split the RB reps in some way, shape or form in Week 10. Having said that, Johnson didn't see the field at all after his fumble late in the third quarter, seeing 43 percent of the offensive snaps to Drake's 64 percent. Consequently, Johnson accumulated six touches and 10 yards from scrimmage to Drake's 16 and 41, respectively. There's no telling when Edmonds will be back in action, and Kingsbury gave no indication that Sunday's development will become the norm, but Johnson seems to be losing some sway in the Cardinals' backfield.
Johnson carried five times for two yards and brought in his only target for eight yards in the Cardinals' 30-27 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday. He also lost a fumble.
Johnson was making his return from what was essentially a three-game absence due to an ankle sprain, and his late third-quarter fumble after a reception led to a tie-breaking field goal by Matt Gay. As his final line corroborates, Johnson's workload was exceedingly light, partly a function of having to share snaps with the recently-arrived Kenyan Drake, who outpaced Johnson by five carries and six targets. It's difficult to ascertain whether Sunday's division of labor has any long-term significance, but Johnson seems destined for relatively modest usage in most remaining games when also considering Chase Edmonds (hamstring) should eventually factor back into the backfield mix. Johnson will look to boost his overall numbers against the 49ers in Week 11.
Johnson (ankle) doesn't have an injury designation for Sunday's game in Tampa Bay, while fellow running back Chase Edmonds (hamstring) has been ruled out, Kyle Odegard of the Cardinals' official site reports.
The dread of a potential three-way split will have to wait at least one more week and probably longer, but Johnson does have Kenyan Drake competing for touches after the former Dolphin blew up for 162 scrimmage yards last Thursday against the 49ers. The matchup with Tampa's run-stuffing, pass-funnel defense represents another problem, though Johnson has the requisite athleticism and pass-catching ability to overcome both of these obstacles.
Johnson (ankle) practiced fully Wednesday, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports.
Johnson looks on track to play Sunday against the Buccaneers after missing Arizona's last two games due to a lingering ankle issue. With Chase Edmonds (hamstring) not practicing to begin the week, Johnson and newcomer Kenyan Drake appear primed to serve as Arizona's top backfield options in Week 10. Drake is coming off an explosive debut performance with the Cardinals last week, when he accumulated 162 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in a loss to the 49ers. It's difficult to predict how coach Kliff Kingsbury may divvy up the snaps and touches between Johnson and Drake versus Tampa Bay.
Johnson (ankle) said Wednesday that he's "definitely playing" against the Buccaneers this weekend, Scott Bordow of The Athletic reports.
Johnson also affirmed that he's back to 100 percent health after a two-game absence. Before the Cardinals clear Johnson for Week 10, they'll see how he fares in practices Wednesday through Friday. Given how well Kenyan Drake performed in his Cardinals debut in last Thursday's loss to the 49ers, Johnson isn't a safe bet to immediate take back the lion's share of backfield snaps if cleared to play against the Bucs.
Johnson (ankle) is expected to return to action in the Cardinals' Week 10 game against the Buccaneers, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports.
Johnson was inactive for the second straight game in Thursday's 28-25 loss to the 49ers but he may have had a legitimate shot at suiting up if the Cardinals hadn't faced a quick turnaround in Week 9. The team's decision to release fellow running back Alfred Morris on Friday supports the notion that Johnson's ankle issue is being viewed as a day-to-day matter, but the 27-year-old will still need to demonstrate progress in practices next week before his availability for the game in Tampa Bay is confirmed. If Johnson is in fact cleared to play, it's not guaranteed he would take back a leading role immediately after backfield newcomer Kenyan Drake proved adept both on the ground (15 carries for 110 yards and a touchdown) and through the air (four receptions for 52 yards) against a tough Niners defense in his team debut.
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