Duke Johnson

Buffalo Bills
Running Back #29
Buffalo Bills
Running Back #29
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Duke Johnson News

Signing with Bills

Johnson has agreed to a one-year deal with the Bills, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: After coming close to landing J.D McKissic in free agency, the Bills have instead brought in Johnson, who handled a key role for the Dolphins down the stretch last season. The 28-year-old will provide his new team with valuable veteran depth and Johnson's ability as pass-catcher out of the backfield should make him worthy of PPR consideration while working behind Buffalo's top back, Devin Singletary. The Bills also have Zack Moss under contract for the next two seasons.

Mar 21, 2022 10:17 AM EST

Gallops to finish line

Johnson carried the ball 25 times for 117 yards and a touchdown and caught his only target for five yards in Sunday's 33-24 win over the Patriots.

Analysis: It was another dazzling performance from the veteran back, and Johnson capped his day with a one-yard TD plunge in the third quarter that gave the Dolphins a 24-10 lead. After barely seeing the field for most of the season, he seized the No. 1 job for Miami over the final month and piled up 353 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns. A free agent in the offseason, it's not clear whether the Dolphins will even want Johnson back or whether they'll look for younger options in the backfield, but the 28-year-old may have at least earned himself another chance at a significant role with some team in 2022.

Jan 9, 2022 10:59 PM EST

Paces team in rushing again

Johnson rushed seven times for 49 yards and brought in two of three targets for 16 yards in the Dolphins' 34-3 loss to the Titans on Sunday.

Analysis: Johnson once again led the Dolphins in rushing yards in what was an efficient performance, and the veteran's recorded multiple grabs for the first time in four games with the Dolphins. The 28-year-old logged two more carries than Myles Gaskin, and he could once again helm the ground attack in Week 18 against the Patriots.

Jan 2, 2022 5:00 PM EST

Tops team in rushing

Johnson rushed 13 times for 39 yards in Monday night's 20-3 win over the Saints.

Analysis: Johnson didn't approach his production from last week's 107-yard, two-touchdown outburst, but he still led the Dolphins in rushing against a stout Saints front seven. That being said, Phillip Lindsay matched his 13 carries and managed just fewer rushing yards, working in tandem with Johnson in his first appearance since Week 12. With Myles Gaskin around as well, it'll be interesting to see how Miami divides its backfield snaps in Week 17 versus the Titans, but Johnson's role the past couple contests suggests he'll at least get the chance to establish himself.

Dec 27, 2021 8:33 PM EST

Signed to roster

Johnson was signed to Miami's active roster Monday, after running for 102 yards and two touchdowns Sunday against the Jets following a call-up from the practice squad, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: It was Johnson's second call-up of the season, which means the Dolphins would need to promote him for good if they wanted him to play a third time. That's presumably the case after his big game Sunday against the Jets, though it remains to be seen what Johnson's role looks like once fellow Dolphins RBs Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed and Phillip Lindsay have had more time to recover from COVID-19. Gaskin and Ahmed were active Sunday, but the former played only 36 percent of snaps to Johnson's 57 percent, while Ahmed didn't play despite technically being active.

Dec 20, 2021 6:32 AM EST

Excels in lead role

Johnson rushed 22 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 31-24 win over the Jets. He also caught his only target for 20 yards.

Analysis: Johnson worked as Miami's lead back over Myles Gaskin, who recently returned from the reserve/COVID-19 list. The former Browns and Texans running back scored his first rushing touchdown since Week 9 of last season from one yard out in the second quarter, then found paydirt again on a six-yard run in the third. Miami's running game faced one of the league's most generous run defenses in this one but will draw one of the toughest assignments in that regard in Week 16 against the Saints.

Dec 19, 2021 2:40 PM EST

Active for Week 15

Johnson is listed as active for Sunday's game against the Jets, Joe Schad of The Palm Beach Post reports.

Analysis: As are Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed, with Johnson on hand to provide backfield depth, with Phillip Lindsay (reserve/COVID-19 list) and Malcolm Brown (quad/IR-R) unavailable for the contest.

Dec 19, 2021 9:01 AM EST

Joins depleted RB room in Miami

The Dolphins elevated Johnson from their practice squad Monday as a COVID-19 replacement.

Analysis: As Miami comes out of its Week 14 bye, Johnson is currently the only healthy back on the 53-man roster. The top three options on the depth chart -- Myles Gaskin, Phillip Lindsay and Salvon Ahmed -- were all placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list within the last few days following positive for the virus, while Patrick Laird (knee) joined Malcolm Brown (quadriceps) on injured reserve. Since all three of the backs that tested positive for COVID-19 are vaccinated, they'll all have a chance to be available for Sunday's game against Jets if they're asymptomatic for at least 48 hours and test negative on two occasions 24 hours apart. Meanwhile, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes that Brown is expected to practice this week and could be available for Sunday's game against the Jets, so Johnson should have some competition for work even if none of Gaskin, Lindsay or Ahmed are cleared to play. Gerrid Doaks and Dexter Williams -- who have a combined seven carries for 19 yards between them in their careers -- linger as options on the practice squad that could be promoted if more depth is needed behind Johnson at running back.

Dec 13, 2021 2:23 PM EST

Back to practice squad

Johnson has reverted back to the Dolphins' practice squad per the NFL's transaction report.

Analysis: Johnson joined Miami's practice squad in late October. He was called up to its active roster prior to Sunday's victory over the Jets. The veteran ended up playing just six offensive snaps, but he made use of them by accumulating 18 yards on four carries.

Nov 22, 2021 7:30 PM EST

Elevated to active roster

Johnson was elevated from the Dolphins' practice squad ahead of Sunday's game against the Jets, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.

Analysis: Johnson joined the practice squad in late October and will provide additional depth at running back against the Jets. The 28-year-old logged 77 carries for 235 yards and a touchdown last year but has yet to make his 2021 debut.

Nov 20, 2021 3:59 PM EST

Finds new team

Johnson was signed to the Dolphins practice squad Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Johnson was cut by the Texans on Feb. 26. He joined the Jaguars practice squad once Travis Etienne (foot) was placed on IR, but was ultimately let go less than two weeks later. Since then, Johnson has worked out for San Francisco and Carolina, but has finally latched onto a new team. With Malcolm Brown (quadriceps) on IR, Johnson will try to work his way to the active roster to potentially replace Brown on the Dolphins depth chart.

Oct 26, 2021 12:29 PM EST

Working out for Panthers

Johnson has a workout scheduled with the Panthers on Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Carolina's looking to bolster its backfield after Christian McCaffrey strained his hamstring in Thursday's win over the Texans. The Panthers already have rookie Chuba Hubbard and Royce Freeman on hand, but Johnson's receiving skills make him an appealing option for Carolina considering their playbook leans heavily on passes to running backs. Prior to last year's 28-catch season in Houston, Johnson had between 44 and 74 receptions in each of his first five NFL campaigns.

Sep 24, 2021 11:19 AM EST

Visiting San Francisco

The 49ers are hosting Johnson for a visit, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Johnson spent time on Jacksonville's practice squad during the first week of the 2021 season, and he may now get a chance to compete for a role with the 49ers. In San Francisco Raheem Mostert (knee) has already been lost for the season, while Trey Sermon (concussion), Elijah Mitchell (shoulder) and JaMycal Hasty (ankle) are all dealing with injuries of their own. Johnson's dual-threat skillset could therefore be valuable to the 49ers, who are also bringing in Lamar Miller for a tryout.

Sep 20, 2021 12:49 PM EST

Parts ways with Jags

Johnson was released off Jacksonville's practice squad Thursday.

Analysis: Johnson was signed to the Jaguars' practice squad last week, but he apparently didn't make enough of an impression over the past week-plus to warrant a longer look. The 27-year-old is now in search of a new team, as James Robinson and Carlos Hyde will continue to lead Jacksonville's backfield.

Sep 16, 2021 3:04 PM EST

Joining Jacksonville practice squad

Johnson is slated to join the Jaguars' practice squad, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: With Travis Etienne on IR due to a foot injury, Johnson gives the Jaguars some added backfield depth behind James Robinson, Carlos Hyde and Dare Ogunbowale. Though Johnson, who turns 28 later this month, had an off year with the Texans in 2020, it's not hard to imagine him being promoted to Jacksonville's roster in the coming weeks, and in such a scenario, the 5-foot-9, 210-pounder could emerge as a change-of-pace option behind Robinson.

Sep 6, 2021 2:03 PM EST

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.

Feb 26, 2021 9:47 AM EST

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.

Jan 3, 2021 12:01 PM EST

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.

Jan 1, 2021 12:43 PM EST

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.

Dec 30, 2020 1:16 PM EST

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.

Dec 25, 2020 2:00 PM EST

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