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David Johnson Focuses On Rehab, Not Return

Notes: Cardinals get extra practice before Cowboys; Bucannon's role; Wheeler returns


Cardinals running back David Johnson's catch in Detroit in the moment before he suffered his wrist injury.

The frustration and anger was overflowed with David Johnson when he hurt his wrist, starting to understand there was a problem just as he had lost a crucial fumble in the season opener and then having it sink in over the next 24 hours that it was serious.

Then, after talking to doctors and trainers and family, Johnson just "faced the facts."

"It's been a tough couple of weeks," the all-pro running back said Wednesday, in his first public

comments since getting hurt and having subsequent surgery.

Johnson, in a cast, said he isn't thinking about any potential return. Right now it's about the healing process and having the wrist get back to 100 percent. The earliest Johnson could come back is Nov. 7, although coach Bruce Arians has talked about Thanksgiving or even Christmas.

Johnson did say that he didn't think his injury was as severe as the wrist injury suffered by rookie running back T.J. Logan. Logan's injury was described as 8-to-12 weeks, and Johnson's was as well.

Johnson praised the support he's gotten from family and teammates and also heard from players around the league, including Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett, Lions running back Ameer Abdullah, Rams running back Todd Gurley and Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi.

In the meantime, Johnson said he plans on being a coach to young players, and helping fellow running backs Chris Johnson, Kerwynn Williams and Andre Ellington the best he can. That'll give him something to do at work. It's harder at home for a guy who said he can't really sit still, and now, he's limited in what he can do with his infant son, David Jr.

"I can't really carry my son," Johnson said. "I get a little nervous. He's getting a little more squirmy. It's hard to carry him. My wife doesn't really trust me."


The Cardinals opened Dallas week with essentially a walkthrough practice Wednesday.

"In the past we probably would've gone a lot harder," Arians said.

But under the guidance of strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris and his assistant Anthony Piroli – and the metrics the Cardinals use to measure workload and how it impacts players – Arians was convinced not to have four days of regular practice in a row. It's why the Cards started the regular season with a Labor Day practice on a Monday and then an off day before three straight practices.

The Cards have their "regular" practices Thursday through Saturday this week because of the Monday game.

"Once you see the data, it's easy (to make a decision)," Arians said.


There is a chance money linebacker Deone Bucannon could finally play this week after his ankle rehab. Arians said once Bucannon does return, it's a matter of finding a role. But Arians also said Bucannon has been learning multiple linebacker positions which will help get him on the field.

"He can play anywhere," Arians said.

There was no update on wide receiver John Brown (quad), although when asked if had been encouraged by anything with Brown, Arians said "I have to see him run before I get encouraged."

The first official injury report of the week comes Thursday.


The Philip Wheeler train pulled back into the Cardinals' station Wednesday, as the team re-signed him yet again to the roster. The Cards had released tight end Jim Dray Tuesday. Wheeler, signed during training camp, made the active roster but has been released prior to each of the two regular-season games thus far in roster moves.

Both times, he has been re-signed the following week.

"He's a pro, he gets a paycheck," Arians said. "It's a matter of being inactive versus a player who could be active because of injury. He understands."

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