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Posts tagged with "Chris Johnson"

The Cardinals are clearly hamstrung on offense, and it’s showing up in the numbers.

Coach Bruce Arians loves to throw the ball deep, but with injuries to key linemen D.J. HumphriesMike Iupati and Alex Boone as well as speedsters John Brown and J.J. Nelson, it’s just not possible.

Instead, the Cardinals as presently constructed are much more of an underneath team.

In the past, Palmer did seven-step drops with regularity, but this season, his dropback depth of 7.1 yards is the second-lowest in the NFL, half a yard shorter than league average, per Pro Football Focus. There’s no other option at this point, since he’s been pressured an NFL-high 75 times, per PFF, and has been sacked six times in each of the past two games.

Palmer knew he had to get the ball out quick on Sunday against the 49ers, and found his running backs with regularity. Andre Ellington led the team with a whopping 14 targets, catching nine of the passes for 86 yards. Even run-first backs Chris Johnson(three catches, 31 yards) and Kerwynn Williams (one catch for 10 yards) got involved in the passing game.

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Veteran running back Chris Johnson is on a mission to prove to the Arizona Cardinals that it was a mistake to release him

The Arizona Cardinals must’ve had their reasons. Perhaps it was the fumbling by Chris Johnson that got him released by the club. Maybe it was the fact that the running back would soon be turning 32, an age that most playing the position are hitting a wall.

All of that mattered very little when Cardinals’ star David Johnson suffered a severe wrist injury during the season opener. The two to three month prognosis called for a roster move to be made. Right then and there, it was obvious who general manager Steve Keim would be calling.

“CJ2K” barely started getting acclimated to the everyday life of a normal person when he was summoned back to the nest. Any resentment that Johnson may have been carrying for being let go would have to be placed aside. The NFL is a business where personal feelings have no place.

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New England Patriots running back D.J. Foster speaks with members of the media in the team’s locker room before an NFL football practice, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

TEMPE, Ariz. – The hometown kid is back.

One of the state’s most dominant high school football players who remained in-state to play his college ball, running back D.J. Foster now looks to make his mark on the team he grew up watching, the Arizona Cardinals.

A day after being signed off of New England’s practice squad, Foster found himself in a Cardinals uniform going through his first practice.

“It means a lot. It was great putting on that jersey,” he said Wednesday. “This is the team that I watched. Being a local guy, this is who I tuned in to watch every week. It’s definitely a blessing to be apart of this organization. I just want to come out here and work hard and help.”

The large smile across his face said it all.

After breaking nearly a half dozen state rushing records at Scottsdale Saguaro High School, including touchdowns in a game (10) and in a single season (60), Foster went on to excel at Arizona State, where he gained at least 1,000 yards from scrimmage in each of his first three seasons.

Foster, however, went undrafted in 2016. He joined New England as a rookie free agent, picking the Patriots over the Cardinals and Texans.

In his first season, Foster appeared in three games, carrying the ball seven times for 24 yards and catching one pass for two yards.

“I enjoyed my time there,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for that organization. They taught me so much and gave me a foundation.”

Becoming a Cardinal “happened fast,” according to Foster, who said his agent called him and “within an hour I was on my way to the airport. I was excited. I’m definitely happy to be here and go to work.”

The Cardinals added Foster, 23, plus welcomed back veteran running back Chris Johnson this week to help soften the blow of losing David Johnson, who is expected to miss as many as three months after dislocating his left wrist in Week 1.

The Cardinals now have five running backs on the roster.

It may be too much to expect Foster to be active this week against Indianapolis, though head coach Bruce Arians called Foster “a pretty quick learner.”

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Everything had been going so right, and now it has all gone wrong. They finally scored a touchdown 57 minutes into the game.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Lets take this quarter by quarter, as we saw fewer and fewer starters the later this terrible, painful, frustrating game went on. There was a lot to be excited about, but we might be getting a little worried.

First Quarter

The most important part of the game with most of the starters in. The defense looked good, but Matt Ryan came out the gate and tossed a pass a bit behind Levine Toilolo who popped it up. He followed it up with another uneven drive, with a lucky drop saving him from an interception, and another football bouncing off of Mohamed Sanu’s hands.

Tevin Coleman looked electric both up the middle and out on the edges. He could definitely be looking at a monster year.

The defense finally gave up some yards late in the first quarter, and Chris Johnson fumbles twice (!).

Deion Jones looked as impressive as he did last year, but I would have hoped for the defensive line to get more pressure on the statuesque Carson Palmer.

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Chris Johnson has lost a step and it could wind up costing him a spot on the Arizona Cardinals roster

The Arizona Cardinals are still working out their roster for the 2017 season. One of the positions that hasn’t been settled yet is at running back, where David Johnson rules as the top guy. Behind him, though, things are a lot less sure.

Kerwynn Williams ended the 2016 season on a positive note, but has little experience. TJ Logan was drafted to be a change of pace runner, and a return man, but is injured. Elijah Penny is a big back, but hasn’t shined in the playing time he’s gotten. Andre Ellington rounds out the backup crew, and he has been solid this preseason, but has had health issues in the past.

Chris Johnson is the guy that makes the most sense as the backup, in theory. He brings plenty of experience, and is one of the great running backs in modern history. The Cardinals are hoping he still has the speed to make a difference.

So far this preseason, Johnson hasn’t excelled. He has just ten yards on seven carries in the two games he’s played in. More importantly than the stats, however, is the obvious lost step. It’s fairly obvious, especially when he’s in space, that age is affecting the former 2,000 yard rusher. Plays that might be long runs wind up as short ones. Defenders are just able to close on him quickly.

Johnson suffered an injury last season that limited him to just 25 carries. He averaged 3.8 yards per run, which is more than half a yard off his career pace. He’ll be 32 years old in September, and for a player who depends on speed so much, a loss of even just a little could be critical.

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