"It's always a huge blow to lose a top player," head coach Bruce Arians told reporters Monday, per Bob McManaman of AZCentral.com. "But it's not the end of the world. We've got quality guys on our team, and it's an opportunity for somebody to step up. David Johnson became David Johnson because of somebody's injury."
The Cardinals are placing Johnson on injured reserve, per Schefter, with the hope he'll be able to return to action in 2017. "Hoping we can get him back by Christmas," said Arians on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
Johnson, 25, injured his wrist in the third quarter of the team's 35-23 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Ford Field. He came back into the game on the team's next drive but promptly fumbled and was forced to make a touchdown-saving tackle on Detroit's Jarrad Davis. That may have worsened the injury, according to McManaman.
The loss of Johnson is enormous. He was one of the most dynamic players in football last season, rushing for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns while adding 80 receptions for 879 yards and another four scores. He accounted for 36.1 percent of Arizona's yards last year and 41.7 percent of its offensive touchdowns.
Suffice to say, the Cardinals built their attack around Johnson coming into the season, and losing him for such a significant chunk of the campaign will make it difficult for them to earn a postseason berth.
Kerwynn Williams and Andre Ellington are expected to earn the majority of the workload at running back with Johnson out of action.