David Johnson Won't Return from Wrist Injury Until at Least Thanksgiving

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2017

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 10: David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals escapes the tackle of Glover Quin #27 of the Detroit Lions during a second half run at Ford Field on September 10, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals will have to remain without their All-Pro running back for a while longer.

Head coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday that the "earliest" David Johnson could return is Thanksgiving, according to Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Johnson has been out since the first game of the season with a wrist injury, and the latest timeline means he will be off the field until at least Week 12.

The original projection from the wrist surgery was two to three months, per ESPN's Adam Schefter, although Arians wasn't as confident.

"Hoping we can get him back by Christmas," he said in September, via SiriusXM NFL Radio.

A best-case scenario of Thanksgiving, about a month earlier, has to be considered a positive for Arizona.

Johnson exploded in 2016 with a dominant season as both a runner and receiver. He finished the year leading the league in both total yards from scrimmage (2,118) and total touchdowns (20) to earn his first Pro Bowl appearance.

Arizona has struggled mightily without him, ranking dead last in the NFL in rushing. Players like Chris Johnson, Kerwynn Williams and Andre Ellington helped combine for just 259 yards in five games, averaging 2.6 yards per carry.

The team announced a trade for future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson on Tuesday, but he has just 153 total rushing yards since the start of last season.

If the Cardinals want to compete for a playoff spot, they need Johnson back as soon as possible.