Chris Johnson’s hammy, and where he fits

Posted by Darren Urban on August 27, 2015 – 9:24 am

Bruce Arians suggested Wednesday that running back Chris Johnson could be back practicing by the end of the week, and there is a possibility that Arians will say in a couple of hours that indeed, Johnson is returning today from his sore hamstring. With only two preseason games left — and with Johnson sitting out the entire offseason — there is little time left to prep for games that count. (UPDATE: Arians said Johnson will go through a run test Thursday, and hopefully will practice Friday and play Sunday.)

Johnson acknowledged Wednesday he feels he needs to play in preseason games, to at least get a couple of carries and get a feel for the game. If that ends up being the normally fringe-heavy fourth preseason game, so be it. But, Johnson also said, “I think they know what I can do already.”

That may be true, and I would still lean toward CJ being on this roster heading into the regular season. But it’s not necessarily a lock, with what David Johnson has shown and Kerwynn Williams still lingering in the background and Stepfan Taylor so valuable on special teams. Can’t keep ’em all.

Johnson noted “I’ve never been a guy that really misses games or practices or anything like that,” and that’s true (save for a contract holdout once upon a time.)

“It’s a situation where it’s frustrating watching practice,” Johnson said. “I know I need to be out there practicing. But it has kind of helped me be able to really focus on the playbook and get the playbook down.”



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27 Responses to “Chris Johnson’s hammy, and where he fits”

  1. By D on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    Final 53:

    D. Johnson
    C. Johnson
    S. Taylor
    R. Hughes

    I wouldn’t play C. Palmer, L. Fitz, P. Peterson, J Veldheer and C. Campbell the remaining 2 pre-season games.

  2. By Dynosoar on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    If Chris gets healthy And we keep Ellington, D. Johnson, Williams and Taylor healthy (Hughes?)

    With the wideouts we have, our offense is going to be fearsome and a nightmare for opposing defenses. What do you cove against, the running game or the passing game?

    I’m enjoying the prospects of what can be done this season. We just need to be healthy.

  3. By krehbieo14 on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    The Cards should not trust the past. These one year contract guys need to practice and get reps in preseason to make the cut, IMO.

  4. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply


    5 RB w/o KW? You might be right, zingers coming at multiple positions. CJ a lock.

  5. By All day on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply


    Cut Marion Grice and Kerwynn Williams or possibly put williams on the practice squad.
    Also we do need to remember that last year we had 5 running backs on our roster. Although Ellington was on IR I thought be signed Grice before that. Can’t remember

  6. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    Mind boggling, who doesn’t “fit”:

    5 + RB 6 + WR 4 + TE 2 + QB 8 + OL = 25

    8 + DL 4 + CB 4 + S 4 + ILB 5 + OLB = 25

    3 + ST = 3 + 25 + 25 = 53

    Could mean, among cuts:
    TE: Christian… (or Gresham…or Niklas)? or only 4 RB? or only 5 WR?
    OL: Sowell + Shipley or Sendlein cut
    DL: Ta’amu
    QB: Sims, Thomas (both PS?)
    RB: Williams (PS eligible?), Hughes or Taylor
    OLB: Riddick, Woodley or K. Martin (seems Alexander will never get cut)

    WAGs, no clue, just sharing my conundrum view shrouded in a trick bag … DTL

  7. By Scott H on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    OK, can we just get a list of the players who do NOT have hammy issues at this point? Because that is probably a shorter list right now.

    I would really LIKE to see CJ make the 53-man roster. And, really, how does he NOT, as long as he is healthy? Because once you get beyond Ellington and David Johnson…..what does anyone see in any of these RB’s that we NEED or can definitely count on??? Honestly, I don’t see how anyone could be psyched about any of them, based on what they have actually done.

    If CJ is healthy, I want him here. Who else we keep beyond Ellington and the Johnson “brothers” matters not to me. For what it’s worth, I feel like I would like to see some more of KW.

  8. By shane on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    He will definitely make the roster… Ellington has shown he cant stay healthy a full season and D. Johnson already had hammy issues.. so in the regular season if both miss a game who would you rather have has your RB 1 S. Taylor or Kerwynn Williams or Chris ?? i think anybody is going too go with Chris, hes a home run threat every play and he will keep the D honest.

  9. By Steve on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    I like Ellington but still not sure he is really a 20-25 carries a game guy. I think CJ still has some gas left in the tank and needs to be on this team. Darren, who is the best bet (as of now) to be our short yardage back?

  10. By Darren Urban on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Short yardage

    As of now, Hughes.

  11. By Lifetime Fan on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    To everyone worried about the “hammy” epidemic – here is a link to a really interesting sports science article which basically says that not getting adequate preparation and drills in before full speed practices/games is making all these soft tissue injuries happen.

    Also, under the “the crystal ball” section of the article they talk about a team “plagued by hamstring and soft tissue injuries” that uses “an old-school start of camp baptism in the summer heat.” This could very well be Arians, which is a sign that at least in this one aspect he should maybe not do things his way. Darren, do you know if the Cards use Catapult Consulting?

  12. By Darren Urban on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    Lifetime —

    RE: Catapult

    Yes, the Cards use Catapult. They started using it last year.

  13. By rio on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    coach ariens this is easy; sims over Thomas,,grice over taylor,,stapley over golden.
    so easy to see

  14. By All day on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    Honestly the idea that Thomas gets cut is kinda odd. He’s drafted to be our quarterback of the future plain and simple. Sims is an undrafted camp arm at best

  15. By dkerry5242 on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    Between CJ or Kerwynn Williams it’s no contest. CJ is by far the better back.

  16. By jerry on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    I agree with rio….keep Sims, Grice and Shipley (not stapley). Britton is another Ted Ginn and Grice is underrated.

  17. By Jim Koch on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    Even though he’s hurt right now CJ2K is probably the most durable back on the roster. I believe he’s never missed a game. KEEP HIM! Response to All Day……….Odd or not Thomas is bad! QB of the future? No way. Love the idea of keeping only 2 QBs. Allows them to keep a player that will contribute if called upon. Cut Thomas and hopefully Sims will clear waivers and land on the p.s. If he doesn’t oh well. Nice player but not a “must keep”.

  18. By Kevin S Mesa on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    I think they realize they guessed wrong on Thomas. I mean, he was a 4th round pick… it was a flyer — maybe they’d get lucky and get the QB of the future, but really, what are the odds of that happening? Of the 32 projected starters in the NFL, you have a couple anomalies (Brady late round, Romo undrafted), a few journeymen like Cassel and Hoyer who may be the starters but more because their team has no option… and a bunch of first and second round guys, with an occasional 3rd rounder (Wilson) in there. A lot more guys wash out as QB’s even though they were picked relatively high, than make it even though they were drafted low.

  19. By Credit Card on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    Card Fans:

    Let’s be sensitive on posting on who we think might be cut. Keep in mind, player’s family members will try to soak up all information they can about their loved one. Reading posts about certain players being cut or released strikes their personal lives much deeper than what we can ever imagine.

    It is fun to play coach / GM, just remember these are real people with real families — just like you and me.


    Credit Card

  20. By krehbieo14 on Aug 27, 2015 | Reply

    I agree thar Chris Johnson is not a lock to make the roster. “They don’t give metals to yesterday’s heroes.” However, based on what I saw from David Johnson last game, his ceiling is limitless and he will be the lead back as the season unfolds. He has the strength, speed, smarts and a wicked stiff arm that makes him dangerous. You know you have a winner when he comes out the pile and you realize he gained six yards off tackle. I think he will be the single biggest steal of the draft. Reminds me of a young Jim Browm.

  21. By Eazy E on Aug 28, 2015 | Reply

    Chris is making this team the second he gets his first carry, why are y’all discussing this ad nauseam??

  22. By Eazy E on Aug 28, 2015 | Reply

    Great Beard on Stump though…

  23. By clssylssy on Aug 28, 2015 | Reply

    Getting a turn key franchise QB from the draft or UFA is something of a rarity as most QBs have to be developed. For all the Andrew Lucks, Manning brothers, Russell Wilsons, there are more Drew Brees, Tom Bradys and Brock Osweillers. Football has changed dramatically in the last ten years and the time franchises can spend developing talent has been severely limited with the ratification of the CBA, so it may take a little longer for raw talent to be molded. Watching TC and a few preseason games is but a nano second through the lens of a microscope by which Thomas and Sims will be evaluated; the fact that Thomas has a year in the system would put him ahead on the learning curve that all rookies must get ahead of. We have BA, “the QB Whisperer” and Tom Moore, to evaluate our QBs and to see the little substlties and nuances we can’t see. They have seen something in Thomas or he wouldn’t still be around and the fact that he didn’t play last season in the playoffs is not because of a lack of talent; BA has said may times, he didn’t want to throw him into that situation because he wasn’t ready (he had not been properly trained yet). The Broncos have kept Osweiller on the shelf for three or so years and the result is they now have a guy who looks almost like a young Peyton Manning! I am not confident that we have the offense to protect Palmer/or Stanton and would trust in the wisdom of Arians and Moore to insure the team needed backup at this critical position.
    As far as Chris Johnson goes, nobody has seen what he’s still got at this point, or are sure what kind of shape he is in as far as durability goes so I don’t know why he would be “guaranteed” anything.I don’t think Ellington will last the season unless BA is doing something radically different this year, and he would be possibly good insurance however after seeing David Johnson, CJ’S role seems less critical. I like the different dimension that Stephan Taylor brings so it will be interesting to see what this third game can tell us.
    I’m hoping that BA is going to use this game to answer some questions about players on the bubble and that none of our players we know are going to make the 53 will be put in harms way. Nobody cares about this game except the guys fighting for a job and we have bigger fish ahead to prepare for in our opener against the Saints!

  24. By Kevin S Mesa on Aug 28, 2015 | Reply

    All that is true, clssylssy, but even then, Osweiler was a 2nd round draft pick. Not many good QB’s come out of the 4th and later rounds — the exceptions (Brady, Romo) kind of prove the rule because they are so rare. On Thomas, yes, BA gave him a pass last year because he wasn’t ready but he also expressed disappointment earlier this year that he wasn’t further along.

    Let’s put it this way — if Thomas doesn’t make the 53, do you think a bunch of teams are going to be clamoring to sign him?

  25. By clssylssy on Aug 28, 2015 | Reply

    You never know what teams will see in a player or what choices they have when there back is up against the wall because of injuries. It’s amazing how some players don’t do anything, get cut, and go on to work in the league as backups for years. Or, just when everyone is counting them done and out, they catch on with a team with a different culture and have a career rebirth as with Warner and Palmer. And, judging from the fact that the Steelers just signed Michael Vick, I would say there is always hope and anything is possible! Matt Leinert was a Heisman Trophy Winner and 1st round pick and where is he now? Just saying…there is a lot more that goes into the making of a franchise QB than being a 1st round draft pick and it usually takes three years for most rookies to come close to hitting their stride at any position.

  26. By Jim Koch on Aug 29, 2015 | Reply

    Note to credit card about his reminder about the sensitivity of players families………… Are u SERIOUS????? We can’t discuss possible cuts because players and their families might be reading this??? You might be watching the wrong sport if you really care about that. Might wanna check out figure skating.

  27. By don on Aug 29, 2015 | Reply

    we’re going to be cutting some guys . we’d really like to keep . I think CJ better show some serious explosion whenever he gets a carry . or he’ll be cut.
    as for Logain , Sims . They’re both projects . both have shown flashes of elite ability . QB being the position of demand it is. if cut. both of these guys will get looks from several teams . even if they never take a regular season snap . And even if they both get cut . I don’t think it would mean this staff has given up on them .. it would only mean they couldn’t justify a roster spot .

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