When David Johnson went on the injured reserve last season, there was little production that came from the running back position. That was a tough pill to swallow for the Arizona Cardinals.
In 2016 David Johnson was the offense. Johnson finished the season with 1,239 yards rushing, 879 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns. Johnson led the league in scrimmage yards and touchdowns. He set a franchise record for yards from scrimmage and recorded the fifth-most rushing yards in a season in franchise history.
As we get closer and close to the start of the 2018 season, Johnson has been vocal about possibly reaching the milestone.
When asked during an interview with Dan Bickley and Vince Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7, Johnson was asked if he could possibly achieve 1,500 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards in a season. “Yeah, that’s the goal,” Johnson replied.
Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk are the only NFL players to crack the 1,000/1,000 mark in a single season.
In the hunt for the desired milestone, Johnsons' supporting cast in 2018 is better than the cast he had in 2017.
All five of the offensive lineman excel well in the run game, with Justin Pugh and Andre Smith ranking high on Pro Football Focus list of run-blocking linemen.
D. J. Humphries, Mike Iupati and A.Q. Shipley have created gaps and running room for Johnson in the past. However, Humphries' and Iupati's health will be a big factor in 2018. Both have not proven they can stay healthy, with some people saying that Iupati has even lost a step.
Jermaine Gresham and Derrick Coleman are added support in the run game. Coleman is the first fullback the Cardinals have carried since before the Bruce Arians era while Gresham has been one of the more underrated blocking tight ends in the league.
The rest is all up to Johnson
Johnson may be a little timid running the ball upon his return to the starting lineup. When healthy, Johnson is one of the best running backs in the league. He might have a new approach when it comes to carrying the football in 2018.
When in the Cardinals lineup, Johnson is the best running back on the roster. Teammate T. J. Logan will also be returning from injury with Chase Edmonds being added to the mix. Yes, Johnson is the work horse, but it would be a wise idea to limit the number of hits and carries that Johnson takes.
Johnson will still be one of the five best receiving options on the roster as well. Larry Fitzgerald will likely remain in the slot, with rookie Christian Kirk and offseason signee Brice Butler on the outside. Chad Williams and J.J. Nelson will see some touches as well.
Even with a revamped wide receiver group, expect Johnson to do big things for the Cardinals offense.
If Johnson regains his form, the Cardinals could make some noise in a wide open NFC West.