Cardinals running back David Johnson heads to the locker room after hurting his left wrist in Detroit Sunday.
The Cardinals lost a potential dynamic return man in the first game of the preseason when rookie running back T.J. Logan dislocated his wrist, sending him to surgery and ultimately to injured reserve.
The first game of the regular season likely cost the Cardinals their best running back.
Coach Bruce Arians said while David Johnson is in the process of getting a second opinion, the initial prognosis of Johnson's wrist injury in Detroit is also a dislocation, and carries with it the same fallout as the Logan injury – surgery, and a trip to injured reserve. It also leaves a hole in the offense.
"Obviously I've been there before," fellow running back Andre Ellington said. "I was that guy that
was getting multiple carries. I've got to step up in his place. Once our brother's down, we've got to make up for his slack."
Logan's timeline to return was 8-to-12 weeks, and Johnson is facing similar time missed. Arians said Johnson wants to find a way to play, but needs to be smart with the injury, which could be career-threatening if it is not properly repaired.
Tight end Troy Niklas suffered the same injury as Logan and Johnson, and said he had been afraid that was Johnson's issue. Logan, meanwhile, is going through his first significant injury and said Johnson too has never really missed time because of injury. Last year's knee injury for Johnson came in the season finale.
"David and I are kind of in the same boat," Logan said. "The only advice I can give him is to come back strong and I know he'll come back strong. He just needs to stay patient."
Arians said it will likely be 24 hours before Johnson's second opinion is known. In the meantime, multiple reports have the Cardinals expecting to sign running back D.J. Foster, an Arizona State product, off the Patriots' practice squad. Arians had said earlier that bringing back veteran Chris
Johnson was an option, but that door would close if Foster signs.
David Johnson could return from IR later this season, but it is a devastating blow to an offense that had a poor debut against the Lions. Johnson was a threat to gain 1,000 yards rushing and a 1,000 yards receiving. Now, that's missing.
"Once we know for sure, I have all the confidence (in other backs)," Arians said. "Andre was good, Kerwynn (Williams) looked good, our young guys, we will see what we've got. And we'll see what's out there."
Ellington said there has been no talk about how the playing time would be distributed going forward.
Arians had said after the game the injury happened on Johnson's final carry in which he fumbled, but Arians corrected himself Monday, saying the injury came on Johnson's catch near the goal line on his next-to-last touch. Johnson went down in pain, but got up and tried to play.
The wrist injury was a factor on the ensuing fumble, Arians said.
"It's always a huge blow to lose a top player," Arians said. "But it's not the end of the world. It's an opportunity for someone to step up. David Johnson became David Johnson because of somebody's injury."
Some of the top images from the season-opening loss in Detroit