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Cardinals The Only Place For Chris Johnson

Posted Jul 21, 2017

Notes: Arians talks about a more physical camp; Boehm's job to lose at guard

Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (left) shares a laugh with safety Tyrann Mathieu prior to Friday's run test at training camp.

Chris Johnson never considered retirement. Not a bit.

The veteran running back did have to think about where he was going to play, however, and said he had a couple of options.

“But at the end,” Johnson said Friday as the Cardinals opened training camp, “this was still the best situation at this point in my career.”

At one point Johnson had thought about being in a place that could provide more carries, something that will be limited in Arizona with David Johnson as the starter. Ultimately, the idea of starting over with a new city and a new playbook wasn’t attractive, and he signed with the Cardinals Thursday for a third straight season.

“I probably could’ve come back a little earlier, but I wasn’t ready,” Johnson said, adding that he had always had the intention of signing somewhere before camp started.

Coach Bruce Arians said there will be work for Johnson. The hope is that David Johnson and Chris Johnson will be able to have packages together on the field, a plan for last season until Chris Johnson suffered his season-ending groin injury four games into the year.

“We’ve had it in the plan every year and one of the two (running backs) always gets hurt all the damn time,” Arians said. “But we’ll have some two-back stuff with he and David back there.”

Chris Johnson was asked about his hopes to reach 10,000 yards for his career. He’s currently 463 yards shy, although he said that wasn’t his primary motivation to return.

“Most of all I still get to play football,” he said. “It was something I always dreamed of doing. I always had the goal of playing 10 years in this league. That’s the main thing for me.”

CRANKING UP THE PHYSICAL PLAY AT CAMP

Arians has talked often this offseason of making training camp more physical. But that will only mean so much in terms of more tackling.

“We will tackle more but we’ll be very selective,” Arians said. “(Usually) we do it only once, in the goal line scrimmage (at the Red-White practice), so more would be one more time or two more times.”

The theme of camp will be the ones Arians touched on in the summer: A need to work on little things that cost the Cardinals games last season, and the need to be on the field.

“In this camp, if you’re not available, you’re probably not going to make the team,” Arians said.

THE BATTLE -- OR LACK THEREOF -- AT RIGHT GUARD

Arians said he is looking forward to seeing how the second group of offensive linemen do in camp. But if there was much consideration about one of them challenging second-year man Evan Boehm for the starting right guard job, Arians doused it.

“It’s Evan’s job,” Arians said. “Those last spots, we’ll wait and see.”

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