CJ2K down until Super Bowl, so …

Posted by Darren Urban on December 1, 2015 – 3:49 pm

After it came out that Chris Johnson had a fracture in his knee (to be clear, it is a tibial plateau fracture, with a chip in the tibia near the knee), it was pretty clear he was going to miss some time. The Cardinals clarified that Tuesday when CJ was put on the IR-designated to return list, meaning he cannot play before the Super Bowl. You know, assuming the Cardinals can get there.

Many have asked if the Cardinals were going to sign a running back. They promoted Kerwynn Williams from the practice squad. They are hoping Andre Ellington, who looks like he’ll be week to week with a turf toe, comes back sooner rather than later. And I was reminded of what running backs coach Stump Mitchell told Chris Johnson when Johnson was considering signing with the Cardinals back in August.

“I love Andre Ellington,” Mitchell said. “I love Kerwynn Williams. I love Stepfan Taylor. I love all the running backs we have here right now. Honestly, we don’t need you to win.”

This isn’t to denigrate Chris Johnson or what he has accomplished. He is shelved with 814 yards rushing, fourth-best in the NFL for now (and sadly, he won’t be one of the few 1,000-yard rushers for the franchise since moving to Arizona. But I digress.) But assuming the Ellington problem is short-term, the Cardinals are prepared and were prepared to attack this season without CJ2K. Rookie David Johnson has looked pretty good in limited time and he looks like he’ll be the starter if Ellington is gimpy. Would they have been as successful? Hard to know — David Johnson certainly would’ve gotten more work by now — but this isn’t something they feared.

Now, if David Johnson gets hurt, or Ellington can’t get healthy, then there’s a problem. It’s not like this offense was anchored by Chris Johnson. This offense still revolves around Carson Palmer and the passing game. You want the running game to be effective, but there is belief that it will be (with better blocking). There is little question every single guy in that locker room is hoping CJ2K plays again this season. Both for his sake, and for theirs.



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Posted in Blog | 28 Comments »

28 Responses to “CJ2K down until Super Bowl, so …”

  1. By Amir on Dec 1, 2015 | Reply

    This really really sucks… oh well.

  2. By Steve on Dec 1, 2015 | Reply

    I feel bad for Chris Johnson and hope he plays for us again in the future, however I am excited for David Johnson and the talent he brings to the RB position with his strength/speed. Hopefully he can do the right things on executing hot plays and blitz protection schemes and curb some of his fumbling issues, he should be fine. The Patriots seem to plug-n-play RB’s in their system all the time and never miss a beat. Darren, say the Cards do make it to the SB and David plays really well up to then, does CJ still take back the starting job in the big game?

  3. By mal on Dec 1, 2015 | Reply

    This has story-book ending written all over it.

    The guy who carries a bullet in his body comes back to help win the Super Bowl.

    A lot, a lot, a lot has to go right for the Cards to make it to the big game, but if somehow they get there, this part of it will be awesome!

    I am so glad the brass put him on the designated to return list and not just IR. You know its gonna become a rallying cry for the whole team to see if they can get CJ2K to play in one more game this season.

  4. By David on Dec 1, 2015 | Reply

    Once again, CJ2K is facing adversity. You were playing so well and then this happens to you. Stay focused brother and don’t lose faith. Our good Lord brought you to AZ for a reason. Hang in there and it will happen for you. David Johnson, it is your turn to shine. Take advantage of the moment. In my opinion we have not had a complete game in all facets, it is time to shock the world and go win this thing. Nothing more fitting than winning the golden super bowl. Go Cards!

  5. By BIGAL on Dec 1, 2015 | Reply

    So Darren? Can you give some more explanation regarding today’s moves???
    I like that we picked up DJ Swearinger…think that is a very good depth move @
    this late…however, I’m wondering about the PS…I’m only seeing 9 players…so did we have to let go of TE Brandon Bostick or is there another move still coming?
    My concern is the TE role in BA’s offense…With 2 TE’s on the field like 90% of offensive plays…& now only 3 TE’s on the entire roster??? Where they gonna find a guy who knows this complex offense…”God forbid one of our TE’s gets hurt?” I suppose Bostick will remain readily available…
    I can only guess Robert Nelson wasn’t quite making the grade?
    And in the case of CJ2K ie. on injured reserve-designated-to-return…does this designation cost us a roster spot in any way?
    Thanks Always Darren!

  6. By Darren Urban on Dec 2, 2015 | Reply

    BigAl —

    RE: Practice squad

    There is still an opening. They could still bring back Nelson, or make a different addition.

    As for CJ, the whole reason you put him on IR is to create a spot on the 53-man roster.

  7. By Lee on Dec 1, 2015 | Reply

    Hey chris! Sign the extension. Do it again for us next year please! Finish what you started.

  8. By georgiebird on Dec 1, 2015 | Reply

    How do the married guys feel?

  9. By andystandsup on Dec 1, 2015 | Reply

    Will the playbook be sliced back knowing that David Johnson might be not as ready as the veteran Johnson in hot and blitz reads?

  10. By Darren Urban on Dec 2, 2015 | Reply

    Andystands —

    RE: DJ

    They might make some adjustments.

  11. By CRamsey on Dec 1, 2015 | Reply

    David Johnson, if you read this, just make sure you keep the happy feet at bay and hit the hole hard. You are big enough, fast enough, strong enough, quick enough to be elite. Just need to run angry. We need you!

  12. By 70sCardFan on Dec 1, 2015 | Reply

    Oh where,Oh where , are the comparisons made too KC Cheifs supposely floundering too a 4 win season after the media made HOF RB Jamal Charles went down with the Cheifs 1-5 . Whoops!!! A 5 game winning streak wasnt supposed too follow. Imo CJ2K was running out of steam anyway & holding back DJ,Arrington,& Taylor.

  13. By georgiebird on Dec 1, 2015 | Reply

    Sort of a meaningless gesture. Anyone getting hurt after this week is not eligible to come back- so might as well put CJ2K there. In essence got to use the IR-designated label.

  14. By Eazy E on Dec 1, 2015 | Reply

    Gosh this sucks for Chris! He has had an outstanding year, and this disrupts it big-time! I wouldn’t say the offense was anchored by Chris, but he was a huge part of it and will sorely be missed especially if Ellington doesn’t get back soon. David isn’t just going to hop in his spot and do a ”Chris Johnson”, we’re not feared anymore in the running game the same! Thank God for our explosive passing game with 7 WRs/TEs that can catch a pass!

  15. By dan on Dec 2, 2015 | Reply

    RB’s are a dime a dozen…………..we don’t need Chris Johnson.

  16. By Jim on Dec 2, 2015 | Reply

    One of the two areas Cardinals could have afforded an injury. WR is the other but that doesn’t mean this doesn’t suck. I wish Chris all the best. But I expect the same type of production from the younger Johnson.

  17. By LadyBird04 on Dec 2, 2015 | Reply

    First: Sorry about CK2K’s injury and hope he can recover fully – this has been a tough year for this young man…Card Fans appreciate all you’ve done and look forward to seeing you in the SB

    Second: D. Johnson has had some “fumble” issues…back in the day when Kurt was having issues – he carried a ball around for a week or so and everyone (including his kids) would take a shot at knocking it out of his hands…I think there was a running back that also had to carry around the ball and teammates would give it a shot…Was it Beanie or some other RB?

  18. By Crow on Dec 2, 2015 | Reply

    was k. williams added from the practice sqwad for depth?

  19. By Darren Urban on Dec 2, 2015 | Reply

    Crow —

    RE: Depth

  20. By 'ZonaFan89 on Dec 2, 2015 | Reply

    Well this blows for now. But CJ2K will be back to help us take SB50, so at least there’s that silver lining.

  21. By sggrange on Dec 2, 2015 | Reply

    Steve Keim built this team to be deep…

    This is why.

  22. By clssylssy on Dec 2, 2015 | Reply

    This sucks on so many levels! While I really like David Johnson and see him as a gifted FUTURE #1 RB, I question his maturity level and lack of NFL awareness that only experience can bring. I like that he is sturdy and appears to be built to sustain punishment, but, as another fan pointed out, I don’t think he intimidates like CJ or even AE, simply because he hasn’t earned his “street creds”. After bursting onto the scene with that amazing return and stellar game early on, he seemed to kinda fade and fumble, and didn’t prove to be dependable. Hopefully, half a season later, he has shed his newbie jitters, and, I’m sure has settled, nonetheless we are sorely lacking in an experienced journeyman at this position.
    Separately, this comes at a terrible time for Chris, as he was so close to reaching the first “level” of his contract incentives to get paid. Getting injured “in the line of duty” should count for something, as the Cards probably wouldn’t be where they are now had it not been for CJ’s early performance. As another fan suggested, hopefully the Organization will give him a new contract and some of these “incentives” he is now having to forfeit will get covered by way of a signing bonus, etc. Bringing Chris back would give us a center piece to build around while continuing to groom David, and building on our run game.
    While the Patriots and other teams seem to be able to “plug-n-play” I remember how complicated our offense was considered to be, and how it took this team half a season to “get it” which makes me nervous as we now enter the most critical part of our season. Good luck to David, Stefan, & KW… we have amazing talent on this team and it does seem that perhaps this situation will be aided by some “reallocation of resources”! GO CARDS!

  23. By Scott H on Dec 2, 2015 | Reply

    dan –

    RE: RB’s are a dime a dozen / We don’t need CJ

    Do you really believe these things that you say??? Good lord…..

    Would you care to enlighten us with a list of the vast array of quality RB’s that are obviously available right now, any one of whom the Cardinals could just plug right in to CJ’s spot?

  24. By Scott H on Dec 2, 2015 | Reply

    sggrange –

    Am suddenly hearing lots of thoroughly disgusted Eagles fans saying they want Keim as their next out here.

    He HAS done an amazing job building a team that is deep.

  25. By Cardinal's Chick on Dec 2, 2015 | Reply

    This sucks on so many levels. I believed in CJ when I first heard he signed. Knew the guy was going to come in and make a difference before he stepped on the field…even when others wrote him off and were on DJ’s bandwagon during preseason. Not to hate on DJ, he definitely has a future…once he gets over his ball handling issue. As much as I like Ellington, he can’t seem to stay healthy. CJ brought a certain tenacity and slipperyness that has been missing. Not to mention football maturity and knowledge. I just knew he was going to play up to all of the incentives in his contract. So, I feel terrible for him having that rug pulled out from under him. It was great to have that 3 headed monster as long as we did. But now I’m concerned about all of the injuries and what it means going forward. The playoffs will bring a whole different level of competition. I just hope we are able to keep, what has been a very well oiled machine (minus penalties and turnovers), going.

  26. By Cardinal's Chick on Dec 2, 2015 | Reply

    @LadyBird04 – If memory serves me correctly, it was Beanie…

  27. By Coach K on Dec 2, 2015 | Reply

    Time for David to step up

  28. By Tmills on Dec 3, 2015 | Reply

    For all those people that say DJ doesn’t intimidate and that our running game is screwed or in jeopardy now . RELAX, DJ has 7 TD’s!! and he can catch , He broke an NFL record by week 2, personally I cant wait to see what he can do now that he’s been handed the keys. and kerwynn did good for us last year and looked good in preseason, he will be a great back up until andre comes back. Everything happens for a reason and this is our year. Go Cardinals

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