In the offseason, the Browns signed running back Duke Johnson to a three-year, $15.6 million contract extension that included $7.8 million guaranteed. They seemingly have forgotten about Johnson since the season started.
He has only 11 touches for 35 yards in two games.
“Obviously, he’s one of our better playmakers, and he’s got to touch the ball,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “Duke’s a tremendous player. We’re glad he’s here. We’ve got to put him in position so he can make an impact because he can, and we’ll continue to look at different ways of getting him involved. But we will. We’ll get Duke going.”
Johnson has played 64 of 151 offensive snaps or only 42 percent.
Carlos Hyde, whom the Browns signed to a three-year, $15.25 million contract in the offseason, has played 83 snaps and has 40 touches for 115 yards. Rookie Nick Chubb has played only seven snaps, with five carries for 35 yards.
Johnson said he has not talked to Jackson or Todd Haley about his role, though it could be that the offense is a work in progress with Haley in his first season as the team’s offensive coordinator.
“That ain’t my job,” Johnson said of talking to the coaches. “My job is to perform, play football, to be a player. It’s their job to figure everything else out.”
Johnson had 156 touches for 1,041 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He doesn’t know if the Browns intend to use him more this week than they have thus far this season.
“We’ll have to wait and see,” Johnson said. “I know I’m kind of part of the plan in a sense. Just pace your way, and you’ll figure out when we’ll start. So far, so good for me mentally.
“Just trying to push through and affect this team in different ways. If I don’t have the ball, make sure I’m pass protecting, blocking down the field, anything needed of me, special teams, whatever it is to try and help us win.”