David Johnson return not before Thanksgiving

Posted by Darren Urban on October 12, 2017 – 11:01 am

Now that Adrian Peterson has arrived, it’s fair to wonder about when — and if — David Johnson will be more than just a locker room-mate at running back. Johnson, on injured reserve with his surgically repaired left wrist, said rehab is “going great.”

“Just got my cast, it’s going good, wrist is feeling great,” Johnson said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

Johnson wouldn’t put a timetable on his comeback. “Wait and see how it heals,” he said.

Coach Bruce Arians said on his SiriusXM NFL radio appearance Wednesday night that the “earliest” Johnson would return would be Thanksgiving. That weekend, the Cardinals host the Jaguars, and there would be six games left in the season. There are still five games in between then and now. Arians had previously put Johnson’s return sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so his comment this week remains in line with that.

Johnson said it was a “humbling moment” to see Peterson come in the locker room. “It’s going to be cool to pick his brain and learn from it.” (Johnson, however, was disappointed Chris Johnson was released, calling Johnson his mentor.)

“The opportunities I’ve had to talk to him were brief,” Peterson said of his relationship with David Johnson. “He came to Minnesota, and I just had to congratulate him on the things that he had accomplished so far and things like that. He was just like, ‘Hey man, I’m just trying to be like you. You’re one of the guys that have paved the way.’ So for me, I sit back and kind of just marvel and smile when I hear young guys like that say how I influenced them and their play and their work ethic.”

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34 Responses to “David Johnson return not before Thanksgiving”

  1. By Chris on Oct 12, 2017 | Reply

    @Darren —

    Any time table on TJ Logan and Iupati? Assuming either comes off IR this season, of course.

  2. By Darren Urban on Oct 12, 2017 | Reply

    Chris —

    RE: Iupati/Logan

    I haven’t heard anything on either. Iupati isn’t even eligible until late November.

  3. By mal on Oct 12, 2017 | Reply


    I imagine its about an 8 hour difference between the UK and AZ. Have you guys formed a plan how to maintain the website without working til 2am?

    Does the team (and you) fly out Monday to allow extra time to get over jet lag?

    Remember when crossing the street, look right. I was dense with that and almost got run over.

  4. By Darren Urban on Oct 12, 2017 | Reply

    Mal —

    RE: London

    We do have a plan. We will be ahead of your time. There will be things posted earlier than normal, for sure. But there might be things posted from that day that you’ll see when you’re just waking up in Arizona.

    As for the jet lag, that’s why we leave for the whole week, to try and give time to get situated.

  5. By chango666 on Oct 12, 2017 | Reply

    yeah, I’m bummed out about CJ2K as well . . .

  6. By clssylssy on Oct 12, 2017 | Reply

    Thanksgiving is only about four weeks away…still don’t understand why Chris got cut over Ellington and Williams as he was the strongest back we had and the only one getting positive yards in Philly. He didn’t even need another 400 yds to reach 10,000 and as DJ pointed out was an asset as a mentor. I would think that when having to “throw one back”, the team would keep the best, even if they had overlapping skillsets. Hopefully he;ll get picked up and things will work out for him but nonetheless, was a pretty trashy way to treat him. Kinda have to wonder how this soap opera is going to play out when we have to “Star” RBs for BA to have to split touches with.
    Darren–what’s the word on the long snapper we got from NOLA at the same time as AP. With all the buzz and whoop-la over Peterson, there’s hardly been a mention.Also, love the “Notes’ feature you do as a way to keep things hopeful with markers laid out to shoot, While I know that all the players say they don’t care about personal records, it can;t hurt the team’s overall performance when they are playing at top level and should be something they strive for. It wouldn’t hurt everybody to be a little more competitive with their personal goals.

  7. By shooter28 on Oct 12, 2017 | Reply

    I’ve thought since his injury David Johnson will return either on the 19th against Houston or 26th against JAX. Former Chargers Team Doctor Dr. Chao did a nice little video breakdown of Johnson’s injury and healing time and has said Johnson would have no issue getting back by the 19th-26th playing with a brace on his wrist. With Arizona getting multiple starters back up front along the offensive line w/ an improved offensive line if Adrian Peterson can give Arizona a good running game opening up the offense Arizona could have a very good 3 headed beast of a running game with DJ, AP and Rookie RB/WR TJ Logan (who will be back at the end of this month) who is very explosive with elite speed and great hands. Hopefully the trade for AP pays off.

  8. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 12, 2017 | Reply

    Clssy —

    I wondered about that too, but I assumed that CJ was cut over Ellington because Ellington would be a third-down back/potential receiver and Williams is our kick returner (although based on results to date, I could go back there, take a knee each time in the end zone, and improve our results over Williams by a few yards every kickoff). With AP’s arrival, CJ would either not play, or would spell AP for maybe 3-5 carries a game…? Probably not worth keeping him around, except perhaps as an AP injury risk.

  9. By JTDG on Oct 12, 2017 | Reply

    AP and DJ

    It will be interesting when DJ comes back on how BA uses them.

    Obviously, DJ is the feature back, but what if AP shows flashes of his old self. I could see formations with both of them out there.

    If you put DJ out in the slot and AP in the backfield, it would make for some interesting choices for the defense. Do you load the box and risk DJ one on one with a safety or LB knowing how good he is at making the first guy miss, or do you drop into a zone backing off the safeties and risk AP running.

    Lots of ifs and buts still and we don’t even know if AP still has it, but just a thought.

  10. By mitchaz on Oct 12, 2017 | Reply

    Bucs at Cardinals Preview

    Team Stats:

    PTS FOR: AZ (16.2–28th); TB (21.3–17th)
    PASS: AZ (289.0–2nd); TB (288–3rd)
    RUSH: AZ (51.8–32nd); TB: (86.0-27th)
    PTS AGAINST: AZ (25.0-27th); TB: (20.8–14th)

    PFF Player Grades Comparisons:

    QB: AZ Palmer (74.8); TB Winston (82.1)
    RB: AZ Ellington (66.4); TB Rodgers (57.4)
    WR: AZ Fitzgerald (80.1); TB Jackson (86.2)
    WR: AZ Jaron Brown (73.6); TB Evans (79.6)
    WR: AZ John Brown (68.6); TB Goodwin (70.6)
    TE: AZ Gresham (37.9); TB Brate (78.8)
    TE: AZ Niklas (43.0); TB Howard (45.8)
    LT: AZ Humphries (67.4); TB Smith (46.5)
    LG: AZ Boone (54.2); TB Pamphile (48.1)
    C: AZ Shipley (47.3); TB Marpet (71.3)
    RG: AZ Boehm (44.0): TB Sweezy (44.9)
    RT: AZ Wetzel (37.8); TB Dotson (86.5)

    DT: AZ Williams (80.1); TB McCoy (91.2)
    DT: AZ Rucker (48.4); TB McDonald (74.6)
    DE: AZ Jones (88.4); TB Ayers (86.3)
    DE: AZ Mauro (52.1); TB Spence (63.5)
    LB: AZ Dansby (42.9); TB Beckwith (80.3)
    LB: AZ Bucannon (29.8); TB Glanton (59.0)
    LB: AZ Reddick (46.7); TB Alexander (82.4)
    CB: AZ Peterson (77.5); TB Grimes (82.7)
    CB: AZ Bethel (44.7); TB Hargreaves (42.2)
    S: AZ: Mathieu 43.9); TB Tandy (46.5)
    S: AZ: Branch (88.4); TB Conte (43.4)

    Special Teams:

    K AZ Dawson (9/13 FG, 6/6 XPT); TB Folk (6/11 FG, 7/9 XPT)
    P AZ Lee (47.4 ave., 37.8 net); TB Anger (45.8 ave., 42.2 net)
    KR AZ Williams (19.5 ave.); TB Reedy (22.0 ave.)
    PR AZ Williams (3.4 ave.); TB Reedy (10.2 ave.)

    What the Cardinals Need To Do:

    * Double Team DT McCoy and contain DEs Ayers and Spence (keep them honest with hard counts, chips, screens and draws).
    * Pick on the Bucs’ DBs, particularly off play-action.
    * Cover WR Jackson (Peterson), WR Evans (Bethel + FS help), TE Brate (Branch), TE Howard (Reddick).
    * Hammer the ball between the tackles, double team McCoy, control the clock.
    * Win this week (for once) on STs. No big returns for Reedy (who will think he’s going to have a big day).
    * Light up Winston!

    Two pass oriented offenses…which one can outscore the other?

  11. By Scott H on Oct 12, 2017 | Reply

    clssy / Kevin –

    Honestly, I would cut either Ellington or Williams for a return guy right now! Our KO returns have been non-existent. Williams has been horrible. Have we seen him get beyond the 15 yet?

    I mean, how sad is it when we have people suggesting that we just down it in the end zone on every KO ( and if last week was any indication, we will be seeing a lot of them ) so we can at least start at the 25???

    Heck, at least give Ellington a shot at returns. It ain’t gonna get any worse. It couldn’t BE any worse!

    But I think once you traded for AP – as much as I like CJ – it didn’t make any sense to keep CJ. At that point, you have to keep the younger guys. Not that either of them have helped…..

  12. By Scott H on Oct 12, 2017 | Reply

    BTW….what ever happened to that no-huddle stuff last week???? Wouldn’t have being behind by as much as we were been a good time for that??

  13. By JTDG on Oct 12, 2017 | Reply


    The biggest stat you are leaving off;

    Tampa Bay has only 4 sacks on the year. That is 32nd in the NFL. That is so bad, 31st has 7. Neither starting DE has a sack. No one has more than 1.

    With Peterson in the backfield forcing them to respect the run and Tampa’s terrible pass rush, Palmer should have time this week. If the line can’t protect Palmer this week, fire everyone involved. This is the week that the cards offense clicks.

    If that carries over, not sure.

  14. By Dan Nicholson on Oct 12, 2017 | Reply

    JTDJ-Re: Johnson/ Peterson. Was thinking same thing with both being on field at same time. Could definitely have a defense on their heels not knowing if pass/run is coming. As much as cards like play action Palmer would have more time to set up. Good call on the thought.

  15. By mitchaz on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply

    Cardinals: Off Center and Off Guard

    It’s unbelievable how badly the Cardinals under HC Bruce Arians, OC Harold Goodwin and OLC Larry Zierlein have botched up the Cardinals’ offensive line…especially in a year where the line was supposed to block for budding superstar RB David Johnson and for their venerable, statuesque QB Carson Palmer.

    The thinking among the brain trust was to flip-flop tackles Jared Veldheer and D.J. Humphries.

    Hasn’t worked.

    Humphries has played all of 9 snaps due to a knee injury and Veldheer has struggled big-time and is currently ranked by PFF as the #64 tackle at a paltry grade of 37.7.

    Evan Boehm was drafted as the COF in 2016…but, no, the brain trust decided to re-sign hard-working but physically limited C A.Q. Shipley to a 2 year deal, even despite the fact that he was going to need double hernia surgery.

    Boehm was forced into playing RG last year for the final two games and was adequate, but one look at his frame and skill set and it was a stretch to think that he could be a regular starting RG in the NFL. Yet, the brain trust wrote Shipley’s and Boehm’s names in pen into their projected starting lineup.

    Then, now that it has become clear that LG Mike Iupati has struggled to stay healthy and productive the past couple of years and is no longer playing at an All-Pro level, the thinking was to draft his heir apparent in 4th round pick 1st Team All-American, Dorian Johnson. The hope was to get a good year out of Iupati and check the progress of Johnson and 2016 6th round pick Cole Toner.

    Iupati is now on the IR and had been replaced by recent signee Alex Boone, until Boone injured his triceps. Dorian Johnson had such a poor camp that he passed through waivers and was signed to the PS. Toner, who spent most of camp training to be a backup center (now that Boehm was at RG) was cut after being switched back to guard for the last two pre-season games.

    Insurance UFA signee Tony Bergstrom, who had a solid camp, was dealt to Baltimore for a conditional 7th round pick.

    This left the coaches having to start Will Holden, their rookie swing tackle at LG, where, of course, he struggled mightily.

    In came old Swiss Army knife veteran Earl Watford…so Watford on three days of practice replaces Holden and starts versus the Eagles, and struggled.

    Yet now that Alex Boone looks like he can return to LG, Watford has been switched over to RG to replace Boehm. Yesterday, when explaining the move, Harold Goodwin said that Boehm has been trying hard but “he’s a center by trade” and that he was drafted to be a center. Doh.

    Pretty much full circle, isn’t it?

    Making matters worse, the one possible brought hope for the future at guard, Dorian Johnson, was signed this week off the Cardinals’ practice squad by the Houston Texans. Even with all this turmoil at guard, the Cardinals decided not to promote Johnson and keep him in the nest.

    Meanwhile, BA&SK’s first draft pick, G Jonathan Cooper, who could be in the 5th year of his rookie contract, is starting at LG for the Dallas Cowboys, who once made a Pro-Bowler out of Leonard Davis.

    This is a comedy of errors on the Cardinals’ part. Some will blame it on the GM. Some will blame it on the coaches. Some will blame it on misfortune. Take your pick.

    But what’s becoming very clear…whomever the GM, HC and OC are next year, once gain it looks like they are going to have to start from scratch to address the guard situation (unless they are willing to pay Iupati $10M)…all of this…after spending a 1st, two 4th rounders and a 6th round pick on guards over the past 5 years. the reality is: NONE of these 4 draft picks has been developed. Plus, Boehm now finds himself once again as a backup center behind Shipley and possibly behind Daniel Munyer and Humphries has yet to prove that he can be a reliable LT.

    These are the kinds of things that set franchises back…and cause RBs and QBs to land repeatedly on their backs.

  16. By Eric G on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply

    DRC was suspended by the Giants over arguing for more playing time. I wonder if we could trade for him with a late round pick. He’d improve the secondary immensely. I hope Keim reaches out to make a trade inquiry.

  17. By Big Ken on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply

    I know there’s lots of CJ2K fans, but I’m excited to see Adrian Peterson in a Cardinal uniform. Let’s give him a chance and see what he’s got left in the tank. Go Cards!!

  18. By JTDG on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply

    Eric G,

    If I was Keim, I am calling about DRC.

    When looking at matchups, I see Bethel better in the slot. DRC played the slot in NY, but is very capable of moving back outside.
    That moves Badger into a centerfield spot at FS. One would think he could move to SS but Branch is playing really well, leading the league in tackles for DBs with 49.

    But to have PP and DRC outside, Bethel in the slot, and Badger and Branch in the safety spots, it would drastically help the teams defense.

    Now the chances of getting this done? Probably zero.

  19. By Eric G on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply


    If you would do it, then you are a smart person. This means that Keim is not doing it. Damn.

  20. By D on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply

    So Larry believes AZ might have won a SB by now if they drafted AP over Levi Brown. That 2007 draft was loaded…let’s re-draft that one for AZ

    Round 1
    Pick # 5- AZ took Levi Brown
    Available- L. Landry S, A. Peterson, RB, P. Willis LB, D. Revis CB and L. Timmons LB.
    E. James ran for 1222 yrds in 2007 for AZ and we all saw what happened in the SB later on, I would have drafted D. Revis at CB. (both A. Rolle and Adub were starters at Safety at the time)

    Round 2
    Pick was A. Branch DT
    My pick would have been L. Woodley at LB (Dansby/Hayes/Beisel/Pace were the LB’s)

    Round 3
    AZ Pick was B. Davis LB
    My pick would have been M Yanda OT or C. Johnson DE

    Round 4
    AZ traded out of this round.
    I would have drafted D. Free OT or P. Soliai DT.

    Round 5
    AZ drafted S. Breaston WR
    I actually liked that Pick.
    But with a young Larry F and Boldin on the team I may have chosen W. Gay at CB.

    Round 6
    AZ moved out of the round
    I probably would have done the same.

  21. By clssylssy on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply

    Love your pregame posts with the cold hard facts lauded out so clearly. According to the sports writers,despite the addition of AP, “even Superman wouldn’t help the O-line” however I remain curiously optimistic. For the Bucs, this will be a grudge match but certainly Peterson will have the opportunity to either prove his case or watch his future circle the drain.
    With little to lose, I like the idea of reaching out to DRC.
    At this point, I’m so disallusioned, I am really questioning Michael Bidwill’s grasp of the business.

  22. By mitchaz on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply


    This off-season was “off” right from there start. It almost feels like the GM conceded that there was no sense going “all in” that the ship had sailed and that the only thing to do was sign FAs in their 30s who few or no other teams wanted and then amass 2018 compensatory picks.

    While I too am enthused about the addition of AP, it could be yet another one of those unctuous PR moves that suggest to the fans the FO is still trying even though the reality is they stopped trying back in March.

    I hate the cynic in me. But, as you say, where is MB’s grasp of the business? Especially coming off a miserable 7-8-1 season where the Cardinals self-destructed in most of the close games. If the Cardinals were trying to get noticeably better to make one last run for the roses with Fitz and Palmer, what did we miss?

  23. By D on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply

    DRC has a Cap hit of $8.5 mil the next two years. I wonder if he still dresses up in costumes in the locker room and wear kids backpacks to work…

    I could see Bowman getting picked up by the Panthers if Kuechly is out for several games…

  24. By JTDG on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply


    2007 draft;

    Yes, think in 2008 what killed us, especially against the Steelers in the superbowl.

    As much as I would like to say Peterson pushes us over, I am not so sure.

    I think if we took Revis in 07 and DRC in 08, Santonio Holmes is not running wild at the end of the game. Revis shuts him down.

    Then, If you had Woodley, you have an outside pass rusher with double digit sacks. Remember Bert Berry was always hurt and Pace wasn’t much of a pass rusher here. Okefer was much like Pace. Adding Woodley gets us a legit OLB.

    Revis and Woodley drafted in 2007 wins the 2008 superbowl. Levi Brown and Alan Branch weren’t the best picks.

  25. By JTDG on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply


    Tell me if I am wrong Darren,

    The signing bonus doesn’t go to the person who trades for him. The hit is salary only which is around 6.4 million each year

  26. By Darren Urban on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Bonus

    You are correct. The signing bonus does not travel (which is why, for a team dealing away a player, a trade is the same as cutting him.)

    The team that gets a new player is only on the hook for the balance of the contract and whatever might be contained therein. If there are future roster bonuses (or future guarantees), the new team must handle those.

    Although I am not sure to who you are referring on the salary. Adrian Peterson is set to make $1.05M in 2018, plus a $700,000 roster bonus in March and about $1.5M if he made the 53-man roster. He had the same salary this year, so pro-rated, it’s about $700,000 left.

  27. By Bryan on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply

    Seeing the injury report, I am wondering how this new mix of Oline will hold up…

    Humphries, Boone, Shipley, Watford, Wetzel(?)

    No lock that Veldheer is out but at this point I am thinking Wetzel is an upgrade given the struggles Jared has had. Here’s to hoping this unit does markedly better on Sunday…. Probably wishful thinking but I still want to be optimistic about this team, otherwise it’s going to be a long season.

  28. By TucsonTim on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply


    Nice recap of the O-line. Thanks. Sad to think this is where we get some real Cardinals news. Too bad you can’t go to the press conference and ask questions about player development, coaching etc.

    I was led to believe Veldheer played better the past two games. 64th? They actually rate all the way to 64. Wow

    Don’t you have to think there is some young guy on a practice squad somewhere who could at least play up to 50th?

  29. By JTDG on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply


    Thanks. We were referring to DRC.

    So let’s take his contract as our example;

    He signed in 2014 for a 5 year / 35 million with a signing bonus of 10 million. He would be signed through 2018.

    So 2 years left with a signing bonus spread over 5 years at 2 million a year against the cap.

    His salary this year would be 6.980 million and 6.4 million in 2018.

    So, if traded to team A, Team A would assume the 6.9 for 2017 (at a prorated cost ) and 6.4 in 2018.

    The Giants, who trade him, has the bonus as a hit. or 4 million in this case. But would they be hit with the salary also?

    I know if they cut him, the cap hit would be the bonus left (4 million) plus 2017 salary of 6.9, giving it a hit of 11 million.

    But on a trade, wouldn’t the salary be passed on to Team A and the Giants would only be hit for bonus (ie – 4 million) ?

  30. By Darren Urban on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: DRC contract

    Team A would just have the salary, correct. So with the in-season suggestion, you are right — it wouldn’t be like cutting him, because as a vested vet, yes, they’d be on the hook for his salary too.

    The Giants would get rid of the salary. They would indeed have the leftover SB as a cap hit.

  31. By clssylssy on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply

    Agree, you totally nailed it. I think I ‘m becomming numb; am still stuck st BA’s deadpan remark “he doesn’t block”….so, who does that leave Fitz and occasionally Gresham? And Keim’s refusal to make any moves as I’m hearing about the Saints upgrading their OLINE, the Seahawks negotiating to get players for their OLINE? Wow, guess I’m too competitive to much of a fighter to fathom doing nothing or surrender.
    It will be interesting to see what, if any changes BA has made to accomodate Peterson’s preferences & why he didn’t feel the need to make adjustments previously. This game could also expose

  32. By clssylssy on Oct 13, 2017 | Reply

    just how weak our defense really is.

  33. By Chris on Oct 14, 2017 | Reply

    Why cut CJ2K? He was the only one of our RBs who actually put up some positive yardage, against that tough Eagles front. I would cut Kerwynn Williams, or put him on the practice squad, and start protecting Carson Palmer better. That is the reason we have seen those explosive passes that were about 50+ yards since we reached the NFC championship. That was back when the offensive line was healthy, and playing well. Please listen to this! I am 12 years old, but it will help! 😀

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