Following a disappointing Week 1 loss to the Washington Redskins, some of the focus around the Arizona Cardinals shifted toward the health of star running back David Johnson ahead of their upcoming matchup with the Los Angeles Rams.
Johnson is currently dealing with a back injury that arose during the season opener, and it has lingered a bit this week. According to Josh Weinfuss of ESPN, Johnson was able to give it a full-go in practice on Friday and has declared himself fully healed, indicating he will play against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday afternoon.
David Johnson said his back, which limited him in practice this week is fine. He labeled himself “100 percent” and said he practiced in full on Friday. All signs he’ll definitely play Sunday in LA.
— Josh Weinfuss (@joshweinfuss) September 14, 2018
Johnson's presence should be a huge asset for the Cardinals offense, as he is featured in a significant role. However, he saw minimized involvement against the Redskins, posting just carries for 37 rushing yards and a touchdown along with five catches for 30 receiving yards. His lack of a significant role likely was due to Washington holding command of the game throughout, forcing Arizona to mostly abandon the run game in the second half.
Arizona will likely look to lean on Johnson in the early going of Sunday's game in order to set the tempo and game plan with their star running back. When healthy, he has proven to be one of the league's top running backs with his elite ability as both a runner and receiver out of the backfield. He set franchise records for yards from scrimmage (2,118) and touchdowns (20) while earning a Pro Bowl selection and a first-team All-Pro nod back in 2016.
If the Cardinals hope to truly challenge the Rams' talented roster, it will require them to have a heavy dosage of Johnson in order to generate points and multiple scoring drives. This could see him get on track to put together a stellar bounce-back campaign.
As it stands with Johnson a full-go Sunday, Arizona is still a 13-point road underdog against Los Angeles according to BetOnline.ag. To place a bet on the game or any others, click here and use promo code CLUTCH50 for a 50% Welcome Bonus when you signup with BetOnline.ag!