Chris Johnson – Cut one day, likely lead back days later
The Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians’ final cut of the preseason was former 2000 yard rusher, Chris Johnson. The 31 year old back didn’t see it coming, and was a little upset. In an article written by Josh Weinfuss, the author implied the meeting didn’t go well. Later, Johnson said he wasn’t bitter toward the team, just bitter over being cut. Due to the fact he is a vested veteran, if he was on a roster in week one, his salary would be guaranteed this season. He knew that someone would need his services sooner or later, and kept prepared for an opportunity. Then the star running back of his former team, David Johnson got injured in the opener, and the Cardinals’ came calling. Now, after one game played by Johnson, he may end up being the lead back. Arians is quoted as saying “I liked what I saw in Chris, he’s more than ready to go.”
With all that being said, this team is still a running back by committee. Andre Ellington, who led the Cardinals backfield with 30 snaps, and Kerwynn Williams will take some snaps from Johnson. Neither one of those guys were spectacular, however, and Johnson has a great opportunity to make his case as lead back as the Cardinals play the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night. Arizona will certainly be looking to run the ball, after watching the Cowboys give up 178 yards on the ground last week to the Denver Broncos. Johnson is likely to see around 20 snaps this week, with the potential for more if he is the hot back. It’s likely Johnson will be the goal line back if they get in that position, and that makes him a decent waiver wire pick-up this week.
From a personal stand-point I drafted David Johnson in one of my leagues, and normally I would look to get the guy who was next on the depth chart as a possibility to replace him. Not in this case. RBBC’s scare me, and on top of that, I remember thinking “They just cut him, so how good could he be?” regarding Chris Johnson. His first game wasn’t particularly outstanding, but he looked like he could still play. On Monday night he gets to show the world what he can do, and make his claim to be that lead back.