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IR-To-Return For Chris Johnson

Posted Dec 1, 2015

Move means running back's injury keeps him out except for Super Bowl; CB White signed

Cardinals running back Chris Johnson was put on injured reserve-designated to return Tuesday with a leg fracture.

If Chris Johnson plays again this season, it would be in the Super Bowl.

The running back, who officially suffered a leg/knee injury in Sunday’s win at San Francisco, was placed on Injured Reserve-Designated To Return Tuesday by the Cardinals. The move means Johnson – the NFL’s fourth-leading rusher with 814 yards – must sit at least eight weeks.

That would put him out until January 26, two days after the NFC Championship game. He would be eligible to start practicing with the team again after six weeks. 

Johnson suffered a tibial plateau fracture, a chip on the top of the tibia near the knee. 

"Just in case things happen the right way, we've love to have him ready for it," coach Bruce Arians said on Sirius XM NFL radio Tuesday night.

With Johnson going to IR, the Cardinals promoted running back Kerwynn Williams from the practice squad. Rookie David Johnson is expected to take Chris Johnson’s starting spot, with Andre Ellington also injured with a turf toe. Ellington’s status for Sunday’s game at St. Louis is in doubt.

"We'll have David ready to go and those (other) guys will have a role," Arians said. 

The Cardinals also signed cornerback Corey White, who played in seven games for the Cowboys earlier this year and spent the previous three seasons with the Saints. He has started 20 games in his career, giving the Cardinals a little experience behind Justin Bethel and Patrick Peterson with starter Jerraud Powers suffering a calf strain.

To make room for White, the Cardinals cut cornerback Robert Nelson, Jr.

The Cards added secondary depth on the practice squad too, bringing in safety D.J. Swearinger, a former second-round pick of Houston who has started 22 NFL games himself. Tight end Brandon Bostick was released from the practice squad.

The Cardinals can only hope Chris Johnson gets to play again this season, because it would mean they will have reached their ultimate goal. It would be some satisfaction for Johnson, although this trip to the sideline means Johnson will no longer have a chance to earn any more incentives on his minimum salary contract. It probably also costs him a Pro Bowl spot – another way he could’ve earned a bonus.

Johnson is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after the season. 

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