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David Johnson says his diminished role has been ‘hard’

Cardinals, David Johnson

Going into 2019, Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson was viewed as a prime bounce-back candidate.

But here we are, in Week 13, and Johnson doesn’t even have his starting job anymore.

An ankle injury in Week 7 knocked Johnson out for a couple of games, but during his time off, the Cardinals acquired fellow halfback Kenyan Drake in a trade with the Miami Dolphins, resulting in Johnson’s demotion.

Since returning in Week 10, Johnson has totaled five carries, with all of them coming during Arizona’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back on Nov. 10. He didn’t touch the ball once in the Cards’ loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 11, the last time the Cardinals played (they had a bye in Week 12).

Ahead of Arizona’s matchup with the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, the former Pro Bowler admits that his diminished role has been difficult:

“It’s obviously been hard,” Johnson said, according to Kyle Odegard of the Cardinals’ team website. “In the past, I was in the majority of the snaps. It’s been rough. I’ve just got to move past it and make the most of every opportunity.”

With Chase Edmonds returning a hamstring injury this weekend, Johnson’s role is about to become even cloudier.

“If you’re any football player, they all want to be on the field as much as possible,” Johnson said. “It’s rough, but it’s football. There’s always adversity. It’s really just how you handle it.”

The 27-year-old has been in the NFL since 2015, with his best season coming in 2016 when he racked up 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground while catching 80 passes for 879 yards and four scores en route to a Pro Bowl appearance and a First-Team All-Pro selection.