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With Running Backs Hurting, David Johnson Up

Notes: Powers injury means WR Golden gets CB work; struggles on OL and DL

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Running back David Johnson looks for room to run during the Cardinals' 19-13 win in San Francisco Sunday.


The resurgent season of running back Chris Johnson might be derailed for a bit after a helmet to the side of his left knee Sunday left him with a contusion and possible missed time. The Cardinals might also be missing backup Andre Ellington, who suffered a turf toe on the same possession as Johnson's injury.

There is no official timetable for either's return, coach Bruce Arians said Monday, but rookie David Johnson looks like the starter for now and "I have all the confidence in the world in him starting," Arians said.

UPDATE: Fox Sports's Jay Glazer, who worked out wth Chris Johnson this offseason, reported Monday afternoon Johnson has a fractured tibia and is sidelined for now.

There is a chance the Cardinals would make a roster move later in the week to promote Kerwynn Williams from the practice squad to back up David Johnson and Stepfan Taylor. But Arians admitted he'd rather not make a move at this point, instead waiting to see how Chris Johnson and Ellington recover.

A move seems likely if both are sidelined, because having just David Johnson and Taylor active is not ideal.

"You can roll the dice," Arians said. "I've done it before. It's not a real good feeling."

Arians said David Johnson has been working on his ball security – he has three fumbles this season – and while he still has rookie problems reading "hots" and blitzes, he will be OK until the veterans return.

"I'm definitely glad my team, my coaches, and Carson (Palmer) still trust me with the ball in my hands," David Johnson said.

WITH POWERS CALF INJURY, A WIDE RECEIVER PLAYING CORNERBACK

Starting cornerback Jerraud Powers avoided a serious Achilles injury Sunday and instead has a calf strain. His

status is day-to-day, but with the Cardinals having a thin cornerback corps – Patrick Peterson and Justin Bethel are the starters with Powers down, with Robert Nelson, Jr., as a backup and Tyrann Mathieu has a potential fill-in – Arians is getting creative.

Sixth wide receiver Brittan Golden has become important on special teams – he had 15 snaps there Sunday – so to keep him available, he will practice some as a nickel back and cornerback this week to prepare him in case of a Sunday emergency.

"He's more than capable," Arians said. "You could bring in a guy off the street but then I'd have to sit down a guy who plays on special teams. I'm not going to do that. He's playing too good on special teams. We'll work with Britt and see what's available."

BRYANT HELPS ON A DOWN DEFENSIVE LINE DAY

Arians said newly signed defensive tackle Red Bryant did not have a mental error and was the most physical player on the defensive line Sunday. And he was happy with the play of undrafted rookie Xavier Williams. But he said Calais Campbell was "poor to average," Rodney Gunter looked like a rookie and Josh Mauro didn't play well.

"It wasn't our best game up front," Arians said.

Arians said injured defensive linemen Frostee Rucker (ankle) and Cory Redding (ankle) were making progress but their status remains unknown for this week's game in St. Louis.

THE SEARCH FOR BETTER BLOCKING

There were multiple issues with the run game Sunday across multiple positions. Arians noted bad blocking plays for offensive linemen Mike Iupati, Lyle Sendlein and Bobby Massie and even wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. He said the tight ends did not block well either, and there were still times when the running backs didn't go to the right hole.

"All very correctable stuff but it shouldn't be happening," Arians said.



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