It’s good for Cardinals that CJ2K returns

Posted by Darren Urban on July 20, 2017 – 2:36 pm

The door for Chris Johnson to return to the Cardinals was never really closed, and that speaks to the relationship between the veteran running back and the franchise. Both knew where the other side was coming from. The Cards got that Johnson would want to explore his options, especially with a situation here where David Johnson is going to get the vast majority of the work. Johnson understood that coming back to the Cardinals not only would likely mean limited snaps but also a limited salary — especially after Johnson had both his Cardinals’ seasons end early because of injury.

To be honest, I thought the David Johnson roadblock would ultimately keep CJ2K from coming back. Only 463 yards shy of 10,000, you get the strong sense CJ wants to show everyone what he can still do as a runner. That’ll be difficult with DJ atop the depth chart.

But he does like this organization and this locker room. And I think CJ is a large benefit to the Cardinals on multiple levels. He immediately becomes the best running back on the roster in pass protection. (Hopefully DJ is making strides in that area, but then again, you want DJ going out to catch passes.) He is a good vet to have in the running backs room. While Freddie Kitchens will do a good job as the new running backs coach, CJ can help with the transition from Stump Mitchell, who had been DJ’s only position coach. Oh, and CJ can still run a little bit, I’m guessing.

Chris Johnson never was hurt in his career until that broken leg two-thirds of the way through 2015, when he was the among the league leaders in rushing yards. Last year, he got little work before badly hurting his groin, which turned out to end his season — a season that didn’t go the way wanted for many Cards. It makes sense for him to come back and try and wipe out the bad taste in his mouth from 2016. There are a lot of Cardinals who want to do that this season.

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10 Responses to “It’s good for Cardinals that CJ2K returns”

  1. By LadyBird04 on Jul 20, 2017 | Reply

    Glad to see CJ back with the Cards. He was very helpful to DJ the past couple of years and as Darren said, he is very well-liked by the rest of the team and can almost be the “assistant” RB coach.

    I wonder how his return will reflect on Ellington’s tenure here. He has had a rough time between playing injured and then being out for injuries so much. He started this Spring as a WR and then was put back in the RB room. I guess we’ll have to see how Penny and the rookies work out to see if Dre will make the final 53.

  2. By D on Jul 20, 2017 | Reply

    CJ has 9537 total yards in his career, appears to be a good person in the locker room, will play for a low salary, if he can stay healthy, a great signing for the Team.

    Mr. Ellington may have a more difficult time making the roster.

  3. By Scott H on Jul 20, 2017 | Reply

    Yes,it IS a good thing that CJ is coming back for 2017. If healthy ( not a given, given the injuries that have ended the last two seasons ), he can help keep DJ fresh and raring to go. That is going to be important this year. My hope is that this offense returns to explosive form in 2017, is able to put games out of reach going into the 4th quarter, and can spend some 4th quarters playing keep away with their running game – with Chris Johnson doing the work.

    Yes, he is a good vet to have around for the other RB’s.

    And I have to say, I love the “un-finished business” theme that fits CJ as much as it does the Cardinals this year. I like that. So, let’s see EVERYONE take care of their un-finished business this year. And ( probably ) end some careers on a high note.

    Can ya imagine… cool it would be to see Larry Fitzgerald, Carson Palmer, and Chris Johnson all close out their careers with a SB win??? Maybe even Karlos Dansby, too. Going out on top with the team that drafted him, after coming back for the THIRD time!

  4. By clssylssy on Jul 20, 2017 | Reply

    This is better than Good, it’s Great news! While DJ is a pretty awesome talent, CJ is one tough and tenacious dude who will be a huge help in pass protection–and, he’s still got it as a top RB which could help in saving David from being used up before postseason. I love CJ’s aggressiveness and no fear at going against guys twice his size; good to have a Tazmanian devil on offense, and as an on-field coach and mentor for our other young RB talent but, who is at the same time chill and a good lockerroom guy.
    Thrilled to have him back, now if we could get a Corner and maybe another TE things could be looking up.

  5. By creditcard on Jul 20, 2017 | Reply

    excellent news

  6. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Jul 20, 2017 | Reply

    Vets that have been there, big plus. Also means a pretty good RB will be cut, sad… In the end, if DJ should go down, CJ the definitive backup to step up.

    Raising some cash for my playoff tix, just sayin…

  7. By Corgon on Jul 21, 2017 | Reply

    Great news! Put him an DJ on the field together and tha’s a nince headache for the opponent. However BA isn’t a fan of the FB, two RB set as I see.
    But he will be a nice, hungry grinder in the 4th quarter when we’ll have a lead! Keeping DJ healthy is a really important part of our season!
    Welcome back CJ!

  8. By clssylssy on Jul 21, 2017 | Reply

    As somebody else pointed out, BA likes to throw the ball and so a two back set isn’t something we’ve used a lot although I think, last season, bc of all the problems with our receivers, running the ball was something we started doing more of. It’s a great option and not something other teams really expect from Arians. We’ll see how the other young backs do in camp but this could be an excellent option to not having that #2 receiver we wanted.
    I think other teams see the Cards as being pretty one dimensional even with David running the ball, and given the weapons BA now has with the backs, hopefully, he’ll get more creative with his play calling. Looking around the league, other teams are putting more into their ground game and having good backs last season probably gave us games we wouldn’t have had otherwise. With Palmer feeling his age more as the season progresses , saving his arm is going to be important. Again, we are going to have the talent but just as importantly, will be good decisions with the play calling.

  9. By D on Jul 21, 2017 | Reply

    I miss those Flagstaff picks of big guys carrying fans up to a dorm room smaller than their bathroom…

    Darren, you get to stay at hotel or do you have to fight the commute every day?

  10. By Darren Urban on Jul 21, 2017 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Camp

    I am at the hotel.

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