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Duke Johnson

Jacksonville Jaguars
Running Back #29
Jacksonville Jaguars
Running Back #29
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Duke Johnson News

Working out for Panthers

Johnson has a workout scheduled with the Panthers on Friday, Adam Schefter of 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

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.

Dec 23, 2020 3:48 PM EST

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.

Dec 19, 2020 11:22 AM EST

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 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.

Dec 18, 2020 1:48 PM EST

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.

Dec 17, 2020 1:50 PM EST

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.

Dec 16, 2020 3:36 PM EST

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.

Dec 13, 2020 3:00 PM EST

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.

Dec 11, 2020 1:14 PM EST

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.

Dec 10, 2020 3:27 PM EST

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.

Dec 6, 2020 2:57 PM EST

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.

Dec 5, 2020 9:54 AM EST

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.

Nov 26, 2020 1:25 PM EST

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