Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson is expecting to receive a lot more touches in the backfield after starter Andre Ellington injured himself during the game against the New Orleans Saints at the weekend.
Ellington will likely be sidelined for the Cardinals game against the Chicago Bears this week after he suffered a Grade One PCL sprain, and Johnson is expecting to pick up the carries while he is out.
Johnson said to ESPN: "I'm always preparing myself like I'm getting 20, 25 touches a game. With me (my mindset ) don't change at all. Practice hard every week, study a lot, and just, even though when you're not the starter, you still have to go in there like you're going to have to play.
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"They're still going to need you and knowing that I'm going to have a role on this team, I can't sit there and not prepare like a starter even though I'm not the starter. I got to prepare the same way."
It's good to see Johnson training like a starter because it means when injuries occur as they have, the Cardinals have a back that is ready to hit the ground running literally. He was glad he was able to get some touches in the fourth quarter against the Saints as well.
He said: "It was kind of good for me to get in there in (the) fourth quarter and get some touches back-to-back and get a rhythm. Anytime you are in there, even with a receiver, catching the ball, learning your offensive line, you need to get in a rhythm."
Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians admitted during the offseason that the starting role at his team was fair game for any of his running backs. Johnson could end up earning the job if Ellington is out for any longer than just next week.