Cardinals running back David Johnson is averaging almost 25 touches a game this season.
David Johnson was the workhorse Sunday.
The running back had 41 touches, carrying the ball 33 times for 113 yards and adding 58 more yards on eight catches. It could have been more – quarterback Carson Palmer targeted Johnson 13 times on passes.
"He should have had about 45 (touches) had he run better routes," coach Bruce Arians said. "He's still struggling running some routes that
he runs extremely well in practice.
"But when you have 95 plays, he's going to touch it most of them."
Johnson played 87 of the Cardinals' 95 offensive snaps. And the full overtime added to the work (Six touches came in the extra 15 minutes.) But it was a workload rarely seen in the NFL anymore. According to profootballreference.com, Johnson was only the third player since 2007 to have as many as 41 touches in a game. Cleveland's Jerome Harrison had 41 for Cleveland on Dec. 27, 2009, and Dallas' DeMarco Murray had 48 on Dec. 12, 2014.
On the season, Johnson is now averaging 24.9 touches a game. He already has 146 rushing attempts, 21 more than he had his entire rookie season. His 174 touches surpassed his rookie total of 161.
Arians said he didn't need to monitor Johnson's touches.
"If he's tired, he taps out," Arians said.
CAT-MAN SUPPORT FROM THE COACH
After Chandler Catanzaro's missed field goal in overtime Sunday, Arians was blunt.
"This isn't high school, baby," Arians said. "You get paid to make it."
When Arians was asked Monday if Catanzaro still had his full support, Arians was equally direct.
"Yes," was the reply.
Catanzaro has missed three of 11 field-goal attempts this season. But he also made a 60-yarder that kept the Cardinals' hopes alive in the loss to Buffalo and had converted 89 percent of his field goals coming into the season. His 24-yard miss against the Seahawks was his first miss inside 30 yards in his career over 22 attempts.
Arians added that there really wasn't anything that needed to be changed on special teams.
"The kicker just needs to kick it through the two poles and we'd be 5-2," Arians said.
The coach also explained his thought process prior to the field-goal attempt, believing the Cardinals had a good shot at a touchdown. He wanted to give running back David Johnson a couple of chances – Johnson looked like he might power in from the 1 on the play before the field goal, but Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner made a great one-on-one play in the hole to prevent Johnson from pushing or spinning his way in.
The Cards kicked on third down just as a precaution if the snap went bad.
"It never crossed my mind we'd miss a field goal," Arians said. "It never crossed my mind, or it never crossed my mind they'd block the next one."
NOT MUCH TO SAY ABOUT WAGNER PLAY
Arians said he had already talked to the league about the two plays Wagner made to jump over long snapper Aaron Brewer in an attempt to block field goals. Wagner blocked the first attempt. The second time was in overtime on the kick Catanzaro missed.
"It's illegal to comment on the officiating," Arians said.
Arians did acknowledge he thought he saw Wagner using leverage on the overtime attempt.