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Chris Johnson Returns To Cardinals

Posted Mar 17, 2016

Running back agrees to new one-year contract

Running back Chris Johnson agreed to a new one-year contract with the Cardinals Thursday.

All along, Chris Johnson said he wanted to return to the Arizona Cardinals.

The veteran running back did so Thursday, agreeing to another one-year deal with the team.

Johnson took a visit to the Miami Dolphins this week, and the Dolphins do have more opportunity for a running back. But Johnson decided to return to the Cards, a team that has David Johnson lined up to be the workhorse running back in 2016 and still has Andre Ellington as a speed option.

The day after the season ended, Chris Johnson said he believed he could still fit in a backfield with David Johnson. The two never played together after David Johnson got significant carries; it was Chris Johnson’s knee injury that opened that door in the first place.

“Me and David, we’re two different type of players,” Chris Johnson said. “David, he can go into the five-receiver sets and do a lot of those plays that B.A. likes to run. Even before I got hurt, the kind of situation that me and David had – I was doing a lot of the running and he would still come in and do a lot of the running and a lot of the pass plays. I think it’s something that could work.”

Chris Johnson was on pace to become the Cardinals’ first 1,000-yard rusher since Beanie Wells when he got hurt. He was among the NFL leaders in rushing yards when he hurt his knee Nov. 29 in San Francisco, leading him to be put on the injured reserve/able-to-return list. Johnson could have played in the Super Bowl had the Cardinals made it.

Johnson finished the year with 814 yards on 196 carries, a 4.2-yard average, and three touchdowns.

One part of Johnson’s return that will make playing time interesting is the ability for the top three running backs to play special teams. David Johnson played a lot of special teams but not after he reached the top of the depth chart. Neither Chris Johnson or Ellington play special teams, which could make things more complicated in terms of active players on game days.

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