Running back Chris Johnson got off to a great start in 2015 by running for 814 yards on 196 carries in the Cardinals’ first 11 games, but a leg injury sent him to injured reserve.
That opened the door for then-rookie David Johnson to take on a bigger role and it proved to be a good thing for the Cardinals offense that extended all the way through the 2016 season. Chris Johnson was back for the first four games last year, but groin surgery brought things to an end at that point and left the veteran with nothing to do but rehab the rest of the way.
Johnson is looking for more this year. He told Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt of SiriusXM NFL Radio that he knows he “can still make plays” and that while he feels interest from the Cardinals in continuing their relationship, he sounds like he’d be interested in a place with a less-entrenched starter at running back.
“I think I want to go out there and see what options I have first,” Johnson said. “I feel at this point in my career if it’s not a situation where a team wants to bring me in to be a starter, I definitely need to be somewhere where I have a role. I need to be involved. At this point in my career, I don’t want to sit on the sideline. I want to get in the game.”
A clear starting role might be a bridge too far for Johnson at this point in his career, but the prospect of more playing time than he’d get in Arizona doesn’t seem too farfetched. Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor are also set for free agency, so there may be a different look on a few fronts in the reserve ranks for the Cardinals this year.