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RB David Johnson - Arizona Cardinals

6-1, 224Born: 12-16-1991College: Northern IowaDrafted: Round 3

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Photo: Joe Camporeale, US Presswire

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News you need to know

General News (Thu Feb 2): said he wants to have 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving next season. Johnson believes he can reach that goal if he improves his route running.

Week 21: bye week

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Recent Stats and Projections

17 at LA 15 5 6 0 4 3 38 0 0 4.4

Recent Game Summaries

2016 Week 17 vs LA (5 / 6 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 38 / 0 rec)

Johnson left the game early in the first-half with what appeared to be a brutal knee injury. He was carted to the locker-room and appeared to be in considerable pain. The injury prevented Johnson from entering the record books both with his 100 scrimmage yards streak and the more out-of-reach 1,000 rushing/1,000 receiving yard season, but early indications about the injury have been positive. An MRI today will be performed, but initial tests showed all ligaments intact.

2016 Week 16 vs SEA (28 / 95 / 3 rush, 7 / 4 / 41 / 0 rec)

It was a quiet afternoon for much of the game for Johnson. Despite his role as the team's feature player, Johnson only managed 37-yards at half. With his streak of consecutive 100-scrimmage yard games in jeopardy, Johnson exploded in the 4th quarter, picking up over half of his scrimmage yards in the final period alone. Johnson also dominated short yardage conversions, picking up multiple first downs and scoring three touchdowns all within the 2-yard line. While his MVP campaign will likely fall short, Johnson showed why many consider him the league's best offensive player, and doing so against a dominant defense.

2016 Week 15 vs NO (12 / 53 / 2 rush, 5 / 4 / 55 / 0 rec)

It was an NFL record setting day for Johnson on Sunday, becoming the first player in NFL history to reach 100 scrimmage yards for the 14th straight game to open a season. Tacking on two rushing touchdowns, Johnson put forth another impressive game in his MVP-caliber season, one that will not get the recognition it deserves due to the team's poor play. Johnson's yardage was split nearly evenly between rushing and receiving, and the extra defensive attention Johnson faced when split out as a receiver was a point of pride for the young back. Johnson now needs 200 receiving yards to hit 1,000 for the season, a tall order against two of the league's better defenses, but one that should provide a level of entertainment as the team enters its meaningless last stretch of the season.

2016 Week 14 vs MIA (20 / 80 / 0 rush, 8 / 5 / 41 / 0 rec)

Johnson finally garnered a bit of national buzz as an MVP candidate this past week, but Sunday likely put an end to that campaign right alongside the Cardinals season. It takes a herculean effort to win MVP on a non-playoff team, something Johnson has provided all season, but was unable to with the conditions in Miami. A fumble early proved costly, putting the team in a hole they were unable to dig out of for the majority of the game. His 120 yards from scrimmage still constitute an impressive effort, but one that truly left little impact on the game. Johnson may fall short of the MVP award and the history books, but it was an incredible season for the second-year back, and one that proved him an elite offensive player in this league.

2016 Week 13 vs WAS (18 / 84 / 1 rush, 12 / 9 / 91 / 1 rec)

It was more of the same for David Johnson on Sunday, which has come to mean a dominating performance both through the air and on the ground. Johnson was so impressive on Sunday that after the game Coach Arians compared him to Hall of Fame running backs and DE Calais Campbell called him "a living legend." Of Johnson's 175 scrimmage yards, a bit more of his damage was done as a receiver where he was targeted a team-high 12 times, but his best play came on the ground late in the game. On 4th-1 from the team's own 34-yard line and clinging to a 1 point lead late in the 4th quarter, Johnson picked up 14-yards, exploding through the hole before utilizing a series of jump-cuts that looked Barry Sanders-esq. Johnson's season may be a bit under the radar due to the team's struggles, but he is every bit in the conversation of the league's top offensive players.

2016 Week 12 vs ATL (13 / 58 / 0 rush, 11 / 8 / 103 / 1 rec)

The lone bright-spot of the Cardinals offense this season, Johnson was exceptional again on Sunday, totaling over 150 yards from scrimmage and acting as the team's only consistent offensive threat. Johnson did the bulk of his damage in the passing game, leading the team with 11 targets and catching 8 of them, but was also quite effective on the ground early on. Whether due to the deficit or Arians struggles as a play-caller this season, Johnson only rushed the ball three times in the second half. He did score his lone touchdown of the game in the second half, on a short pass from Palmer out of a shotgun set in which he impressively maintained balance long enough to extend over the goal-line and score. In the same ESPN report of Palmer's potential x-ray, Johnson too was mentioned as having been escorted out by trainers. Trainers were examining his hand/fingers midway through the game, but he returned after only a few plays.

2016 Week 11 vs MIN (22 / 103 / 1 rush, 11 / 7 / 57 / 1 rec)

Much as commentary on Palmer has become something of a broken record, so too is that true for David Johnson. The notable difference of course is that whereas Palmer has consistently struggled, David Johnson has excelled. Johnson had another 100+ yard rushing game, with nearly half coming on the team's first touchdown drive. Johnson tacked on nearly another 60 yards in receptions, easily becoming Palmer's most targeted receiver on the day, including a first quarter touchdown on an excellent out-and-in route as the slot receiver.

2016 Week 10 vs SF (19 / 55 / 1 rush, 7 / 5 / 46 / 1 rec)

Facing the worst rushing defense in the league, many were predicting a monster game for Johnson. While that never really came to fruition on the ground, Johnson's two early touchdowns provided the breathing room the team operated with most of the afternoon. Johnson's inability to get the ground game going was likely a result of multiple factors. The 49ers defense no doubt schemed to take away the ground game, and John Wetzel filling in for the injured Jared Veldheer at LT did them no favors either. Both of those factors will be present for the remainder of the season, and its incumbent on Johnson and this offense to find more running room for the second-year stud. Arguably the biggest mark Johnson left on the game was the mismatch he presented as a receiver. This was present on the team's first touchdown, with Johnson matched up against a linebacker, and later on the team's game winning drive for a crucial 3rd down conversion.

2016 Week 8 vs CAR (10 / 24 / 0 rush, 9 / 7 / 84 / 0 rec)

Johnson never got going on the ground on Sunday, with credit to the Carolina front-7 for keeping him in check, and an assist going to the early deficit that had the Cardinals passing the vast majority of the day. Johnson's 10 rushes were a season low and the 24 yards gained on them were not easily accumulated. Still the centerpiece of the offense, Johnson was heavily involved in the passing game, but still lacked the mastery we have seen from Johnson this season.

2016 Week 7 vs SEA (33 / 113 / 0 rush, 13 / 8 / 58 / 0 rec)

Johnson had to grind for every yard on Sunday, a staple of playing Seattle's defense, but still managed to amass over 180 yards from scrimmage. Without any of the big play highlights he has become known for in his short career, Johnson earned his numbers the hard way. His 4.5 yards per touch were enough to keep the ball moving and time of possession on the Cardinals side, but the inability to breakthrough with a big, chunk play, or find the end zone ultimately hurt the perception of Johnson's evening. Coming off a three touchdown Monday Night performance, this will doubtfully be the game people point to as a highlight of Johnson's season, but even with his workhorse touches, to put up that kind of yardage against this defense deserves praise.

2016 Week 6 vs NYJ (22 / 111 / 3 rush, 6 / 3 / 27 / 0 rec)

Another week and another monster effort from David Johnson. To put up 111 rushing yards against a defensive front as stout as the Jets would be an already impressive outing, but to add 3 touchdowns, be the team's 3rd most targeted receiver, and provide quality pass blocking shows how truly special Johnson's ability is. The highlight play of game, courtesy of David Johnson, came midway through the first quarter when the running back took a sweep off the left side 58-yards for the Cardinals first score of the game, as well as first 1st quarter score of the season. Like all big runs, much of the credit belongs to others, with tremendous blocking up front by the line and down field from the wide receivers. Still, the run highlighted all that attributes that have made Johnson a rising star. Johnson's vision, speed, power, and decisiveness were all on display. The defensive fronts will not get any easier from here on out, but even against the best Johnson is proving more than capable of the challenge.

2016 Week 5 vs SF (27 / 157 / 2 rush, 6 / 3 / 28 / 0 rec)

Sitting at 695 yards from scrimmage through 5 games, David Johnson not only leads the NFL in this statistic this season, but is on pace for 2,224 scrimmage yards, good for 20th on the NFL's all-time single season list. Injuries to the offensive line (there is genuine concern about both Guards missing an extended period of time,) and a slate of difficult run defenses ahead on the schedule, it is difficult to imagine Johnson maintaining this pace through seasons? end, yet what he has accomplished to this point still deserves great praise. Thursday night, Johnson was seemingly unstoppable. When the offensive line opened up holes, Johnson easily advanced to the second level of the defense, snapping off chunk runs seemingly with ease. At times when the line struggled to create lanes, Johnson simply used his incredible arsenal of strength, speed, agility, and vision to find the littlest of cracks in the defense and exploit them. Johnson may be the most complete offensive player in the league this year, and his usage rates and scrimmage yards are prime illustrations. Next Monday kicks off a 3-game run against the Jets, Seahawks, and Panthers, three of the league's best run defenses. If Johnson can maintain his pace through these three games, his spot in the record books may look a lot more likely.

2016 Week 4 vs LA (17 / 83 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 41 / 0 rec)

Johnson surrendered his first fumble of the season, at an incredibly inopportune moment, but apart from that costly blunder played another quality game. While the team as a whole has failed to live up to its preseason hype, Johnson himself has proven worthy of it. For such a big, powerful runner, his ability to slide in and out of the smallest crevices of the defense can be downright astounding to watch. Johnson was impressive both on the ground and as a receiver, and finds a way to make big plays in both phases of the game. Unfortunately, with the rest of the offense stuck in the mud, the team has failed to capitalize on Johnson's impressive first four weeks.

2016 Week 3 vs BUF (19 / 83 / 2 rush, 6 / 3 / 28 / 0 rec)

Johnson's box-score statistics look impressive, and fantasy owners no doubt enjoyed his performance, but much was left to be desired. Johnson's big-play ability and incredible talent can often turn nothing into something, but Sunday there was a lot more nothing than something. The offensive line, without RG Evan Mathis, struggled to open consistent running lanes. In keeping with the Cardinals "Murphy's Law" performance, Johnson tripped on TE Troy Niklas' foot on a play in which he had a clear path to the end zone late in the 3rd quarter. Two plays later Buffalo scored off a botched field goal snap. Johnson's box score fails to tell the whole story of a player who was bottled up much of the afternoon, and yet he was still the Cardinals best offensive player on Sunday, seemingly the only one able to avoid a catastrophic miscue.

2016 Week 2 vs TB (12 / 45 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 98 / 0 rec)

Despite an inability to generate much in the run game, David Johnson still left quite and imprint on the game, leading the team in receiving and all-purpose yards on Sunday. The running game woes can be credited to many factors; the Bucs stout defensive line, the success of the Cardinals passing game, and breakdowns in blocking, but Johnson is also one of the rare players who can make something out of nothing. Johnson's 58 yard catch and run, the team's longest play of the game, was on a simple check-down throw over the middle of the field. What was intended to be a 5-yard play turned into 58 when Johnson stiff-armed a defender, juked the next, and then simply outran three more before eventually being taken down. The combination of skillset can make Johnson's play look a videogame, and at this point it wouldn't be a surprise to see him on the cover of one in the near future.

2016 Week 1 vs NE (16 / 89 / 1 rush, 6 / 4 / 43 / 0 rec)

After a breakout rookie campaign, Johnson picked right back up where he left off last season, amassing 132 all-purpose yards and settling in comfortably as the focal point of the team's offense. Johnson's biggest run of the night, a 45-yard run up the right sideline, came on a play in which he should have been bottled up at the line of scrimmage, but just proved too difficult to take down. On several other plays throughout the game, Johnson appeared to be a shoe-string tackle away from turning five yards into 50. Johnson's contributions in the passing game were solid if unspectacular, amassing over half of his 43 receiving yards on one play, but still provided a consistent target for Palmer throughout the game. Everything is in place for Johnson to affirm his title as one of the best young players in the league, and performances like Sunday Night will only help to cement that.


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