The Cardinals signed dynamic running back Chris Johnson on Monday in an attempt to add depth to the Cardinals running back group.
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The Cardinals drafted David Johnson out of Northern Iowa to help out but he has been nursing a hamstring injury and has missed most of training camp. This and the fact that both Andre Ellington and Marion Grice are dealing with hamstring problems the Cardinals needed some help.
Chris Johnson is a pretty far way removed from the 2,000-yard campaign he had with the Tennessee Titans in 2009 (just his second year in the league). Johnson played for the titans for 6 years before being released after the 2013 season. One in which he rushed for 1,077 yards. Johnson then signed a two-year contract with the New York Jets but declined the team option for his second year making him a free agent.
Johnson is known as a burner who can hit the homerun on any play. He’s a threat as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Last year Johnson graded out negatively rushing wise with 66o yards and only one touchdown all year. His downside was that he is also very susceptible to negative plays. That tends to happen with backs that are as elusive as him. Always searching for a bigger crease or bigger play instead of just taking what a defense gives him. So while he may have those big highlight plays occasionally I can guarantee he will frustrate Cardinal fans.
The positive side? Well other than another explosive back he’ll be able to spell Andre Ellington and give him a break so that possibly he can stay healthy for a full year. There was a big difference offensively with Ellington out especially in the run game, which struggled mightily last year.
If Johnson can be healthy and productive don’t expect another thousand-yard season, but expect him to be another weapon to keep from any drop off while he gives Ellington a breather.