Cardinals star David Johnson named one of NFL’s most misused players

Oct 20, 2018, 3:29 PM | Updated: 11:27 pm
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) holds the football during the first day of their ...
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) holds the football during the first day of their NFL football training camp, Saturday, July 28, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

The Cardinals’ David Johnson made a list alongside New York Giants star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., but it’s one you wouldn’t expect to find him on before the start of this season.

The Ringer’s Danny Kelly named Johnson one of the six most “infuriatingly misused players in the NFL” this season, citing his failed usage as “a disservice to one of the best backs in the game.”

Johnson has averaged just 3.2 yards per rush this season, almost a yard less than his career average.

Fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy’s scheme had a lot to do with his usage issues, according to the article.

The Cardinals have run the ball up the middle more than any team in the NFL, yet are in the bottom third in rush yards per attempt.

Johnson, who broke out in 2016 as a running back and a prolific receiver, hasn’t been a factor in the passing game.

Johnson has lined up as a receiver on just 3.5 percent of his routes this season, down from 20 percent in 2016.

Johnson has just 166 receiving yards and one touchdown this season.

“The futuristic, post-position playmaker is being used like a traditional back, relegated to running simple swing-pass and dump-off routes out of the backfield,” Kelly said.

Beckham Jr., Packers running back Aaron Jones, Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson, Browns running back Duke Johnson and Lions running back Kerryon Johnson were also named to the list.

With McCoy fired in favor of Byron Leftwich, it’s possible Johnson’s usage could more likely mirror 2016, when he rushed for 1,239 yards, had 879 receiving yards and 20 total touchdowns.

“This is already a lost season for the 1-5 Cardinals, but by getting Johnson back to what he does best—a little of everything—it could be a huge boon for Rosen and help give this team a much-needed confidence boost down the stretch,” Kelly said.

Arizona Cardinals

Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles is pressured by L'Jarius Sneed #38 of the Kansas City Chi...
Alex Weiner

Super Bowl LVII matchup set: Eagles to face Chiefs at State Farm Stadium

Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale will be a showdown between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. 
23 hours ago
Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick sacks San Francisco 49ers quarterback Josh Johnson du...
Alex Weiner

Eagles OLB Haason Reddick wreaks havoc in NFC Championship Game vs. 49ers

Haason Reddick's heroics in the NFC title game got the attention of his old Cardinals teammates, including Chandler Jones.
23 hours ago
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy warms up before the NFC Championship NFL football game ...
Alex Weiner

49ers’ Brock Purdy suffers elbow injury in NFC title game, undefeated streak ends

49ers QB and Gilbert native Brock Purdy suffered an elbow injury in the NFC Championship Game, and his unbeaten run as a starter ended.
23 hours ago
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton calls out from the sideline in the first half of an NFL f...
Wills Rice

Cardinals candidate Sean Payton: ‘In the next week we’re gonna know a lot more’

Cardinals fans are anxiously awaiting a new head coach to take over the reins of the organization after four years under Kliff Kingsbury.
23 hours ago
Statue of the late Arizona State linebacker Pat Tillman at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. (Jerem...
Austin Scott

NFL selects honorary captains to commemorate Pat Tillman at Super Bowl LVII

With Super Bowl LVII coming to Glendale on Feb. 12, four honorary captains will commemorate Valley legend Pat Tillman at the coin toss.
23 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is brought off the field after an injury during the ...
Wills Rice

Report: Cardinals QB Kyler Murray not expected to be ready for start of 2023

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray is reportedly not expected to be ready for the start of the 2023 season as he recovers from ACL surgery.
23 hours ago
Cardinals star David Johnson named one of NFL’s most misused players