Chris Johnson Signs with Cardinals After David Johnson's Wrist Injury

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2017

Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (23) an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz.  (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Arizona Cardinals have re-signed veteran running back Chris Johnson, team reporter Darren Urban announced.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports first reported the move Tuesday.

La Canfora added that Johnson will be brought in to add backfield depth following the wrist injury suffered by starter David Johnson in Week 1.

ESPN's Adam Schefter noted that the Cards are expected to place David Johnson on injured reserve with the possibility of returning later in the season.

Johnson, 31, was a casualty of the Cardinals' 53-man roster cuts in September. He was limited to just 95 rushing yards in 2016 due to injury and the emergence of David Johnson. 

A three-time Pro Bowler, Johnson rushed for at least 1,000 yards in each of his first six NFL seasons but hasn't reached that mark since 2013. His 814 yards in 2015 with the Cardinals represent his best mark during that time frame.

The Cardinals chose to cut Johnson rather than Andre Ellington, who got the final running back spot on the roster.

Johnson doesn't appear to have all that much left in the tank. He averaged just 3.8 yards per carry last season and did not have a run longer than 18 yards. The Cardinals re-signed him in July after he saw an almost nonexistent free-agent market.

David Johnson's wrist injury put Arizona in a situation where Chris Johnson could return. Kerwynn Williams and Johnson could wind up splitting work at the running back spot. Ellington is also a potential option due to his experience in the Arizona offense.

Despite the fact that Johnson is no longer as explosive as he was earlier in his career, he is familiar with Arizona's playbook, and that familiarity alone should allow him to be a factor for the Cards until the younger Johnson returns.