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Cardinals’ David Johnson appears on Sports Illustrated cover

SI Cover- David Johnson

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson has been anointed “the NFL’s best back” as he appears on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated this week.

The issue is set to hit newsstands on Thursday.

There will be a profile on Johnson and “the strangest two weeks of his life,” according to a statement from the publication.

The 25-year-old running back enters his third NFL season after being drafted out of Northern Iowa in the third round in 2015. Since then, he’s emerged as one of the league’s most elite offensive weapons and has amassed more than 3,000 yards from scrimmage in 32 NFL games.

Not to mention, Johnson led the NFL with 2,118 yards last year, his sophomore season.

Johnson’s appearance on the cover comes as Sports Illustrated releases its “NFL Preview 2017” issue, which had four different cover athletes, depending on your region: the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady, the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, the Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt and, of course, Johnson.

Brady, Rodgers, Watt and Johnson are all shown kneeling on their respective covers, which has raised some eyebrows. That same pose has sparked debate and controversy in the past two seasons as some NFL players have knelt or sat during the national anthem before games.

Adam Duerson, an assistant managing editor at Sports Illustrated, denied that the poses were done in a nod to the anthem protests.

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