Cardinals can’t afford any injury to David Johnson

Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals had to do without David Johnson for most of last year, so an undisclosed issue at OTAs is not good news.

After a breakout season in 2016, when he led the NFL in yards from scrimmage (2,118), scored 20 total touchdowns and caught 80 passes, Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson suffered a wrist injury in Week 1 last season and did not suit up again. Now, according to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, Johnson has missed practice time at OTAs this week due to an undisclosed injury.

Johnson was an observer during Thursday’s practice, and Cardinals’ head coach Steve Wilks did not offer much clarity to the situation.

“It’s the offseason, and I’m not going to really indulge in injuries or things like that,” Wilks said. “We’re going to talk about the guys that are out there.”

Teams are under no obligation to disclose injury information right now, and caution has to be the word with anyone as important as Johnson is to the Cardinals. Arizona’s mandatory minicamp is next week, so Johnson’s availability for that will be closely watched. But even then, being able to practice at full capacity in mid-June is not the priority.

Johnson has a publicly stated goal to reach 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving this year. He got very close in 2016, with 1,239 rushing yards and 879 receiving yards, and beyond Larry Fitzgerald the Cardinals lack proven passing game weapons for whoever is under center.

Sam Bradford is tentatively Arizona’s No. 1 quarterback, but after missing most of last season due to issues with his troublesome left knee the team is being very cautious with how much he does in offseason work. That has opened the door for rookie Josh Rosen to win the starting job for Week 1, and he just might do so.

Directly behind Johnson on the depth chart right now is rookie fourth-round pick Chase Edmonds. After that is D.J. Foster, with 13 regular season carries in two seasons, and 2017 fifth-round pick T.J. Logan, who spent his entire rookie season on IR with a wrist injury of his own. So the Cardinals clearly can’t afford any missed games from Johnson this year, and whatever injury he’s dealing with right now can’t be allowed to linger into training camp.

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