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Cardinals’ Kingsbury gets fantasy anger over David Johnson’s injury

Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game against the Atlanta Falcons at State Farm Stadium on October 13, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Falcons 34-33. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury has done the fantasy football deal before.

He understands why NFL fans might be steaming mad at him for keeping David Johnson active on Sunday against the New York Giants before sitting his star running back for all but a handful of snaps.

“I respect that,” Kingsbury said Monday. “I used to play and I get it. It’s a great game. Glad they’re so passionate about it but have to do what’s best for the player and his safety.”

Johnson truly thought he would be able to play through an ankle injury, Kingsbury said. On a cold and rainy day in the Meadowlands, however, Johnson didn’t feel right or look right once the game began.

He took one carry for two yards, and it didn’t take long for Arizona to pull him for Chase Edmonds in the 27-21 win.

“David’s a warrior,” Kingsbury said. “We wanted to see and he wanted to see if he could go. After the first few plays, it didn’t feel right and we knew he didn’t look right so we got him out. He was still in an emergency position for us because that’s all we had.”

Johnson didn’t reaggravate his injury and remains day-to-day, the head coach added.

“I talked about (on) Friday (that) if we played Friday he wouldn’t be able to go,” Kingsbury said. “We hoped over the next 48 hours he could get there. We felt like in pregame he had a chance. Once he got out there, it wasn’t working.”

With Johnson sitting out to heal up and third-stringer D.J. Foster already ruled out with a hamstring issue, Edmonds responded by taking 27 carries for 126 yards and three touchdowns.

Foster is also listed as day-to-day heading into a Week 8 road game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

In Week 7, fantasy owners of Edmonds joined those of Johnson by showing displeasure in the Cardinals’ handling of their running back situation.

Johnson’s active status was simply to give Arizona a second option at all. Turns out, they hardly needed him.

Johnson returned to the game briefly when Edmonds needed to hurl into a trash can during one Arizona drive. Otherwise, Johnson stood on the sideline as Edmonds found success carrying an offense already limited due to the rainy conditions.

Moving forward, Kingsbury isn’t worried about a running back controversy cropping up once Johnson and Edmonds are both healthy. As it was the two games prior to Sunday, the head coach expects to find enough touches for both of them

“It’s going to a place where we feel great about two running backs,” Kingsbury told Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “That’s what we hope for in the near future.”

Phillips Law Group

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