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David Johnson leads Cardinals in receiving yards for 2nd straight week

David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals catches a pass during the NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Bryan Woolston/Getty Images)

The usage and productivity of Cardinals running back David Johnson has been a focal point of Arizona’s 2019 season, but Johnson came up big in more ways than one in Sunday’s win on the road over Cincinnati.

First, Johnson had his highest rushing yardage total of the season when he got 17 carries for 91 yards — just two fewer than quarterback Kyler Murray, who led the Cardinals in rushing yards.

But the Cardinals also had the luxury of giving fellow running back Chase Edmonds eight touches for 68 yards in the run game while Johnson caught three passes for 65 yards. That was the highest receiving yardage total of any Cardinals player on Sunday, although Larry Fitzgerald had twice as many catches — six balls for 58 yards.

“I think both guys can do what we ask of them,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said of Johnson and Edmonds. “That’s exciting. It’s not like one guy can only go in for runs or passes. They both are dual-threat type guys out of the backfield, and that makes it fun for a play-caller.”

Johnson’s usage in the passing game was of particular importance this week.

That’s because both second-year pro Christian Kirk (ankle) and Damiere Byrd (hamstring) missed Sunday’s game due to injuries.

Johnson has 247 receiving yards in 2019, only 17 yards fewer than his rushing yardage total. Those amount to 511 yards from scrimmage on the season, which is tied for ninth in the NFL as of Monday morning.

“Wherever I’m needed, that’s the biggest thing,” Johnson said. “As long as we get wins, do everything I can for the team, it doesn’t matter.”

Edmonds also was used both on the ground and through the air, catching three passes for 18 yards.

“Coach Kliff, man, he does a great job of designing some creative plays,” Edmonds said. “He finds what people do well and what they excel at, and he just takes full advantage of it. You saw it on the two passes to David. Both a back shoulder and then a receiver-type catch. That’s all Kliff with the design of the play, man.

“He did a good job of getting me involved with just a lot of motions and everything, and trying to just keep the defense on their heels.”

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