|ADP:||Round: 4, Pick: 2|
|Ht / Wt:||6'1" / 224 lb.|
|Born:||December 16, 1991|
|Drafted:||2015 / Rd. 3 (86)|
Johnson expressed confidence in his durability and anticipation of starting over with the Texans, Sarah Barshop of EPSN.com reports.
Analysis: The narrative about Johnson's decline since 2016 is out there after the 28-year-old running back has dealt with injuries and supporting cast since. 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 and talks like he has a chip on his shoulder. Having a dynamic quarterback like Deshaun Watson could also boost Johnson's value.
Johnson has reportedly passed his physical with the Texans, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Analysis: Johnson dealt with an ankle injury last season and effectively had his 2017 campaign derailed by a dislocated wrist, but this was an expected outcome and one that solidifies the transaction that brought him to Houston in a blockbuster that sent star wideout DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals. 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 perch atop his new team's depth chart could help Johnson -- who logged just 94 carries, while catching 36 passes in 13 games last year - engineer a bounce-back effort in 2020, while working in tandem 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.
Analysis: 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.
Analysis: 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 have the Houston backfield to himself with Lamar Miller (knee) and Carlos Hyde impending 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."
Analysis: 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.
Analysis: 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 still 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. Boasting 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 again 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.
Analysis: 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, 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.
Analysis: Johnson's trio of rushes occurred on the Cardinals' first possession, late in the second quarter and on the second-to-last play of the game as the offense was attempting to salt away the clock. Meanwhile, Kenyan Drake again dominated touches out of the backfield, turning 23 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 13. Such has been the trend since Johnson returned Week 10 from a two-game absence and likely will extend through the season finale, barring an injury or downturn in play from 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.
Analysis: 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,
Analysis: 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.
Analysis: Kenyan Drake has usurped the No. 1 spot on the RB 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.
Analysis: 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 in 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.
Analysis: 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.
Analysis: 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 this week.
Johnson (ankle) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Giants, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Coach Kliff Kingsbury said Johnson wouldn't have been healthy enough to play if the game took place Friday instead of Sunday. The running back was a bit more optimistic, noting that he felt good after Friday's limited practice and remains hopeful to suit up against the Giants, per Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site. This sounds like a true game-time decision ahead of Sunday's 1:00 p.m. ET kickoff, with Chase Edmonds headed for a large workload if Johnson is declared inactive. Third-string running back D.J. Foster (hamstring) already has been ruled out, so the Cardinals may need to call up Justin Davis from the practice squad.
Johnson (ankle) will be a game-time decision for Sunday's contest against the Giants, with coach Kliff Kingsbury noting that the running back wouldn't have been able to play if the game took place Friday afternoon, Kyle Odegard of the Cardinals' official site reports.
Analysis: Despite closing out the week with a pair of limited practices, Johnson appears in real danger of missing the Week 7 contest. Kingsbury's comments are rather discouraging, but the running back does have two days to recover before the 1:00 p.m. ET kickoff Sunday. If Johnson ends up inactive, Chase Edmonds will be set up for a large workload in a game with the second-largest over/under (50.5) of the week.
Johnson (ankle) was a limited practice participant Thursday, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports.
Analysis: Johnson is taking a step in the right direction after missing Wednesday's session. In the end, his odds to play Week 7 will become known upon the release of Friday's injury report. If he's active Sunday, he'll have a great chance to extend his streak with 100 yards from scrimmage to four games against a Giants defense that has given up the fifth-most (171 per game) to running backs this season.
Johnson (ankle) returned to practice Thursday, Kyle Odegard of the Cardinals' official site reports.
Analysis: After working through a bad back last week and posting 102 yards from scrimmage and a TD this past Sunday against the Falcons, Johnson is tending to an ankle injury this time around. On Thursday, he was present at the part of the session open to the media, a sign that he'll be listed as limited on the Cardinals' ensuing injury report, at the very least.
Johnson didn't practice Wednesday due to an ankle injury, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports.
Analysis: One week removed from having his practice reps capped by a bad back, Johnson has exchanged that injury for a new one. He merely needed one limited showing last week in order to suit up this past Sunday against the Falcons, when he took on a 75 percent share of the offensive snaps. That workload still allowed him to go over 100 yards from scrimmage and reach the end zone twice, but with a different health concern affecting him, Johnson's status will be one to monitor as the week proceeds.
Johnson wasn't present at Wednesday's practice, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports.
Analysis: Johnson practiced just one time last week due to a back injury, but the Cardinals still rolled with him for the majority of a Week 6 win against the Falcons, giving him a 75 percent share of the offensive snaps. He turned those reps into 18 touches for 102 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns, while backup RB Chase Edmonds took the field for 29 percent of those plays for seven touches, 67 scrimmage yards and one TD. The reason for Johnson's absence hasn't been revealed, but a similar breakdown may become the status quo until he gets back to full health.
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