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David Johnson Is Not A One-Year Wonder

Rookie season should count as a good one despite limited touches

Everyone agrees that David Johnson was dynamic in 2016, when he accumulated 1,239 rushing yards, 879 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns, catapulting into the conversation of the NFL's best running backs.

Everyone also agrees that 2017 was a wasted year, as he played only three quarters before landing on injured reserve with a dislocated wrist.

But there is a debate that keeps coming up: Should Johnson's rookie season be classified as a good one? (In other words, is he, thus far, a one-season wonder?)

Detractors don't believe Johnson touched the ball enough for his rookie year to count as a stellar showing, while advocates believe he did so much in limited work that it surpasses the threshold. Place me in the latter category.

Johnson didn't become the primary ballcarrier until late in 2015, but he found a way to make an impact from the get-go. He sealed the season-opening win over the Saints with a catch-and-run 55-yard touchdown, and then made NFL history by adding a kickoff return touchdown and a rushing touchdown in Week 2 against the Bears.

Johnson finished his rookie season with 125 carries for 581 rushing yards (4.6 yards per carry), 36 catches for 457 yards and a team-high 12 touchdowns. He was second on the team in yards per scrimmage with 1,038 and added a 27.2 yard kickoff return average. Johnson finished with an approximate value of 9 from Pro Football Reference -- a methodology which attempts to put a numerical value on a player's season -- which was tied for ninth-best on the team.

Johnson also had one of the most impressive single-game performances in recent Cardinals' memory, destroying the Eagles to the tune of 29 carries for 187 yards and three touchdowns, including a magnificent 47-yard touchdown run.

While Johnson didn't get enough touches to turn in a truly spectacular season, his rookie year should certainly be categorized as a good one.

December 20, 2015: Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) runs with the ball on his way to a touchdown as he gives Philadelphia Eagles defensive back E.J. Biggers (38) a stiff arm during the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Arizona Cardinals won 40-17. The Arizona Cardinals clinch the NFC West Division. Christopher Szagola/CSM (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)