At the league meetings in Arizona last week, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said that he’d like to get the ball in running back David Johnson’s hands 30 times a game and shrugged off concerns about overworking the back by pointing to Johnson’s age.
The 25-year-old has talked about getting 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards next season, so it doesn’t come as a great surprise that he agrees with his coach’s take about how to use him in 2017.
“I’m still young,” Johnson said, via the team’s website. “I’m still on my first contract. So I feel I can definitely handle 30 touches. I did it last year, basically, with running the ball and catching it out of the backfield. I never really got fatigued. Those tough defense games against Seattle and the Rams, those games might feel a little sore, but that’s not until the adrenaline comes down. I never really feel too bad.”
Johnson averaged 23.3 touches a game last year, which is a bit off from 30 but was enough to lead the league in total touches. There’s no back on the roster that appears likely to cut into his playing time enough for Arians to veer from his plan, so it certainly looks like we’ll be seeing a lot of Johnson again this year.