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David Johnson played through back issue in Cardinals’ win over Bengals

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) runs the ball in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)

The Arizona Cardinals got a much-needed win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon.

And while they showed out in the running game, the Cardinals did it with one of their primary offensive weapons not at 100%.

David Johnson accumulated the most yards from scrimmage on the team, highlighted by a game-saving catch late, but did so nursing a back issue for most of the game.

“His back was acting up a little bit and I’m not sure, sometime in the first half,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters after the 26-23 win. “But he powered throw it and that won us the game, that big catch down the sideline.”

Kingsbury told reporters on Monday after the win that he was impressed by Johnson’s toughness finishing the game. He also noted that Johnson will be monitored all week and wouldn’t rule out that he could miss this week’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

The running back had his best game on the ground, compiling 91 yards on 17 carries, but it was his performance in the receiving game that kept the win alive.

With about 1:30 to play in the game, the Cardinals sat at their own 22-yard line. Needing something in a hurry, Murray went back to pass, finding Johnson for a crucial 24-yard gain that inevitably helped set up the game-wining field goal from Zane Gonzalez.

“David is a tremendous playmaker,” wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald told reporters after the game. “His back has been tight, he’s pushing through still. Whenever he gets a mismatch on a safety and a linebacker we know we can always count on him. he was able to do it a couple times today.”

The back tightness seemingly opened the door for fellow running back Chase Edmonds, who showed he can carry the load if needed.

While Edmonds finished with just eight touches, the RB made them count, rushing for 68 yards and a 37-yard score with 7:13 left to play in the fourth quarter. The totals didn’t lead the team Sunday, but are encouraging as Arizona figures out how to properly utilize the duo moving forward.

“I think both guys can do what we ask of them and that’s exciting,” Kingsbury said. “It’s not like one guy can only get going for runs or passes, they both are dual-threat type guys out of the backfield.”


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