David Johnson wanted KR duties, Kingsbury doesn’t force Cardinals RBs

Dec 16, 2019, 3:20 PM
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)...
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

TEMPE, Ariz. — David Johnson only saw three carries for six yards Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. For the most part, he was relegated to watching Arizona Cardinals teammate Kenyan Drake rush 22 times for 137 yards and four scores.

Johnson foresaw that he wasn’t going to have a busy day in Arizon’as 38-24 win.

That’s not surprising considering how iffy head coach Kliff Kingsbury has been in using him, but Kingsbury appreciates that Johnson also requested some special teams duties to get more opportunities.

“He asked us, which is credit to him,” Kingsbury told Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “He wanted an opportunity to have more touches that way. We know he’s done it before. He’s a talented back.”

Johnson made a single return for 24 yards after taking over for Pharoh Cooper in the second half.

It was the first time he’s returned a kick since his rookie year in 2015, when he piled up 598 yards on 22 returns, including one for a touchdown.

On Monday, Kingsbury admitted that the three-back set of Drake, Johnson and Chase Edmonds and use of the running backs as wide receivers might’ve been too much in the two previous games.

“I don’t know if it’s been more difficult” in finding the three running backs touches, Kingsbury said. “I just don’t want to force it. I think that’s the biggest thing.

“You don’t want to put plays in there to put plays in there, so week to week it could vary.”

Extra points

— We learned Sunday night from Christian Kirk and Kyler Murray that tight end Dan Arnold wowed teammates in just 10 days on the team. That was before high-pointing a touchdown catch in the 38-24 win.

Here’s how Kingsbury described Arnold’s eye-catching plays: “I think it was his very first day on scout team and going up and just, you know, Moss-ing people. Everybody was oohing and ahhing and we didn’t even know his name.”

— Kingsbury said linebackers Haason Reddick (groin) and Tanner Vallejo (ribs) are day-to-day after leaving in the second half of the Cardinals-Browns game.

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