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Duke Johnson

Duke Johnson

Running Back #29
Team: Houston Texans
Ht / Wt:5'9" / 207 lb.
College:Miami
Age:27
Born:September 23, 1993
Drafted:2015 / Rd. 3 (77)
Draft Team:CLE

Duke Johnson: Let go by Houston

The Texans cut Johnson (neck) on Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Houston traded a third-round pick for Johnson back in 2019, but he won't be part of the organization's plans going forward. Johnson is coming off the worst season of his career, with just 235 rushing yards and one score on 77 carries (3.1 YPC) across 11 games. He also caught 28 of 34 targets for 249 yards (8.9 yards per catch) and a touchdown. The move saves the Texans roughly $5 million in cap space and leaves Johnson -- whose yards per carry and catch last season were his lowest marks since 2015 -- free to search for a new landing spot. It's also worth noting that the 27-year-old missed the final three games of the regular season due to a neck injury.

February 26, 2021 9:47 AM EST

Duke Johnson: Not playing Week 17

Johnson (neck) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Titans.

Analysis: Johnson had been listed as questionable after practicing in a limited capacity all week, but the Texans ultimately weren't comfortable signing off on his return to the lineup. With Johnson concluding the season with a third consecutive absence, lead back David Johnson should be in store for a clear three-down role. Duke Johnson wraps up his 2020 campaign with 235 yards and a touchdown on 77 carries (3.1 yards-per-carry average) to go with 28 receptions for 249 yards and another score.

January 3, 2021 12:01 PM EST

Duke Johnson: Questionable for Week 17

Johnson (neck) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Titans.

Analysis: Johnson, who last suited up in Week 14, logged limited practices this week, which suggests that he has a chance to be active for Sunday's 4:25 ET kickoff. If he is, he'd return to a complementary role behind top back David Johnson.

January 1, 2021 12:43 PM EST

Duke Johnson: Returns to full practice

Johnson (neck) was limited at practice Wednesday.

Analysis: Johnson didn't practice at all last week, so this represents an upgrade for the Texans' change-of-pace back. If cleared to play Sunday against the Titans, he'd be in line to reprise his complementary role behind David Johnson.

December 30, 2020 1:16 PM EST

Duke Johnson: Missing second consecutive game

Johnson (neck) has been ruled out for Sunday's contest versus the Bengals, Aaron Reiss of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Johnson will miss his second game in a row and fourth overall this season. With Johnson sidelined, David Johnson is set to be the Texans primary running back Week 16. Behind the second Johnson, Buddy Howell is the likely candidate for reps among the four remaining RBs on the active roster.

December 25, 2020 2:00 PM EST

Duke Johnson: Misses practice Wednesday

Johnson (neck) didn't practice Wednesday.

Analysis: That's not the greatest sign with regard to the change-of-pace back's chances of playing Sunday against the Bengals, but his Week 16 availability outlook could brighten with a return to practice Thursday or Friday. In his absence this past Sunday against the Colts, Buddy Howell and Scottie Phillips handled Houston's complementary backfield work behind David Johnson.

December 23, 2020 3:48 PM EST

Duke Johnson: Not playing Sunday

Johnson (neck) was ruled out ahead of Sunday's matchup with the Colts.

Analysis: Johnson and C.J. Prosise (ankle) did not travel with the team to Indianapolis which means the short-handed Houston backfield will likely lean heavily on David Johnson, who was just activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, with little-known Buddy Howell and Scottie Phillips as backups.

December 19, 2020 11:22 AM EST

Duke Johnson: Iffy for Week 15

Johnson (neck) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Colts after missing practice Thursday and Friday, Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: The same applies to C.J. Prosise (ankle), which could leave the Texans' backfield depth shorthanded this weekend, given that Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports that interim coach Romeo Crennel said if Johnson didn't practice Friday, he'd be unlikely to play Sunday. On the plus side, top back David Johnson was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday and is in line to head the team's Week 15 backfield. Also on hand will be Buddy Howell, who logged 11 carries in last weekend's blowout loss to the Bears.

December 18, 2020 1:48 PM EST

Duke Johnson: Sits out practice Thursday

Johnson (neck) didn't practice Thursday.

Analysis: Johnson logged a limited practice Wednesday, so the downgrade in participation clouds his status for Sunday's game against the Colts. On the plus side for the Texans, David Johnson -- who came off the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday -- practiced fully Thursday. Friday's injury report will reveal whether Duke Johnson heads into the weekend with an injury designation or cleared to play in Week 15. Either way, his fantasy utility has taken a hit, with David Johnson in line to reclaim his role as Houston's lead back.

December 17, 2020 1:50 PM EST

Duke Johnson: Limited practice Wednesday

Johnson (neck) was limited at practice Wednesday.

Analysis: Meanwhile, David Johnson came off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday, but didn't participate in practice. If he's able to return to the field Thursday, he'd presumably be in line to reclaim his role as the Texans' lead back this weekend against the Colts. In that scenario, Duke Johnson (assuming he suits up) would figure to to revert to a pass-catching/complementary role in Week 15.

December 16, 2020 3:36 PM EST

Duke Johnson: Shares carries in loss

Johnson rushed eight times for 26 yards and secured both of his targets for 53 yards in the Texans' 36-7 loss to the Bears on Sunday.

Analysis: With David Johnson hitting the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, Duke Johnson appeared set to return to the lead-back role he'd held from the early stages of a Week 9 contest against the Jaguars through Week 12. However, interim coach Romeo Crennel opted to give undrafted third-year pro Buddy Howell more work on the ground than Duke after the latter generated middling results as the No. 1 back earlier in the season. Johnson was able to partly make up for the modest production on the ground with a season-high tally in receiving yardage thanks in large part to a game-high 48-yard scamper off a screen pass. Even if David Johnson isn't eligible to play in a Week 15 matchup against the Colts, Duke may once again slot into a complementary role alongside Howell, who was serviceable with 11 carries for a team-high 42 yards Sunday.

December 13, 2020 3:00 PM EST

Duke Johnson: Set to head Week 14 backfield

Johnson (illness), who doesn't carry a Week 14 injury designation after practicing fully Friday, is in line to head the Texans' backfield Sunday against the Bears, following the placement of David Johnson (illness) on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

Analysis: Johnson will thus revert to a lead role this weekend after handling change-of-pace duties in the Texans' Week 13 loss to the Colts. With an uptick in carries on tap Sunday, Johnson now merits attention in standard, as well as PPR formats in Week 14 fantasy lineups.

December 11, 2020 1:14 PM EST

Duke Johnson: Logs limited practice

Johnson (illness) was limited at practice Thursday.

Analysis: Per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Johnson is dealing with a non-COVID-19 illness. We'll revisit the running back's status Friday to see if he approaches Sunday's game against the Bears with any degree of uncertainly with regard to his availability for the contest, or alternatively heads into the weekend free from a Week 14 injury designation. With David Johnson back in the mix, Duke Johnson has resumed working in a pass-catching/change-of-pace role for the Texans.

December 10, 2020 3:27 PM EST

Duke Johnson: Makes six catches

Johnson carried two times for eight yards and caught all six of his targets for 24 additional yards during Sunday's 26-20 loss to the Colts.

Analysis: Johnson took a back seat to David Johnson, who returned from a three-game absence, and was hardly utilized in the running game. He remained involved in the passing game, however, as he finished second on the team in receptions and fourth in targets. Johnson should keep a similar workload in next Sunday's matchup with the Bears but could lose out on touches if David's workload increases after he was seemingly eased back into the fold this week.

December 6, 2020 2:57 PM EST

Duke Johnson: Likely lose starting role

Johnson will likely lose his starting role after David Johnson (concussion) was activated off injured reserve Saturday, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Analysis: David Johnson will return to the fold after landing on injured reserve due to a concussion. The smaller back took over for Johnson quite nicely over the last three games, carrying the ball 33 times for 106 yards while accumulating 63 receiving yards on nine targets and scoring one touchdown, but he'll likely fall back to the change-of-pace role. It's possible given Duke Johnson's receiving acumen the Texans could even use him as a pseudo wide receiver after Will Fuller was suspended for the rest of the season, but it's difficult to really guess how the team will operate their meager receiving group.

December 5, 2020 9:54 AM EST

Duke Johnson: Finds end zone in win over Lions

Johnson carried the ball nine times for 37 yards and caught three of four targets for 43 yards and a touchdown in Thursday's 41-25 win over the Lions.

Analysis: While he ceded some red-zone work to C.J. Prosise, Johnson was still the clear lead back for Houston and put together his best performance since David Johnson (concussion) was sidelined. There's been no indication yet that David is close to returning to the lineup, but if Duke remains at the top of the depth chart in Week 13, he faces a much tougher opponent on paper when the Texans host the Colts.

November 26, 2020 1:25 PM EST

Duke Johnson: Rushing struggles continue in win

Johnson rushed 10 times for 15 yards and caught three of five targets for another 20 in Sunday's 27-20 win over the Patriots.

Analysis: Johnson's averaging a dreadful 2.8 YPC this season, which has capped his production despite three consecutive weeks of double-digit attempts as the lead back in David Johnson's (concussion) absence. David will have to miss at least one more game before he's eligible to come off IR, which should leave Duke with a hefty Thanksgiving workload against a Lions defense that has struggled to contain running backs. C.J. Prosise was the only other Houston running back to touch the ball in this one, and he finished with an uninspiring 12 scrimmage yards on three carries and two catches.

November 22, 2020 2:33 PM EST

Duke Johnson: No injury designation for Week 11

Johnson (illness) practiced fully Friday and doesn't carry an injury designation into Sunday's game against the Patriots, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Analysis: Johnson has trended in the right direction all week, missing practice Wednesday before upgrading to a limited session Thursday and finally practicing fully Friday. He was the only Houston running back to receive a carry in last week's loss to Cleveland with David Johnson (concussion) on IR, so Duke's in line to remain the lead back against New England.

November 20, 2020 2:05 PM EST

Duke Johnson: Logs limited practice

Johnson (illness) returned to a limited practice Thursday.

Analysis: Johnson didn't practice Wednesday due to a non-COVID-19-related illness, but his return to the field Thursday puts him on track to suit up for Sunday's game against the Patriots. Friday's injury report will reveal whether Johnson approaches that contest listed as questionable or free from a Week 11 injury designation. Assuming he suits up this weekend, Johnson is slated to remain the Texans' lead back, given that David Johnson (concussion/IR) is set to miss at least two more games.

November 19, 2020 1:35 PM EST

Duke Johnson: Sits out practice Wednesday

Johnson (illness) didn't practice Wednesday, Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Barshop did note that Johnson's absence was not related to COVID-19, so at this point the running back would seem to have enough time to recover in advance of Sunday's game against the Patriots. With David Johnson (concussion/IR) set to miss at least two more games, Duke Johnson is slated to remain the team's lead back in the meantime.

November 18, 2020 1:26 PM EST

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