Who will start for David Johnson? Cardinals options for replacing injured running back

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Running back David Johnson's wrist injury has Cardinals fans and fantasy football owners asking the same question: Who

Running back David Johnson is such a versatile player that it’s going to take a village of Cardinals running backs to replace him.

Here is a breakdown of other running backs on the roster and how they might be used.

RELATED: David Johnson injury shakes up Cardinals depth chart

Kerwynn Williams

CAREER STATS: 103 rushes, 555 yards, 5.4 yard average, 4 TDs. 6 receptions, 35 yards, 0 TDs.

This is his fifth year in the NFL and is expected to make his first start on Sunday. Williams hasn’t received many opportunities over the years, but he usually produces when given a chance. In 2014 against Kansas City, Williams was pressed into duty because of injuries. He rushed for 100 yards on 19 carries.

He’s a productive, tough runner, with the speed to bounce outside. At 5-feet-8-inches, he can be hard for defenses to see.

Williams, however, is not one of the team’s best receivers and he sometimes has struggled in pass protection.

Andre Ellington

CAREER STATS: 697 yards, 4.3 average, 9 touchdowns. 114 receptions, 1,034 yards, 3 TDs

Coaches wanted to see toughness out of Ellington in the preseason and he delivered. If he hadn’t, he would have been released. The Cardinals tried to make a receiver out of him in voluntary workouts but that didn’t last long.

Ellington is best when he’s away from traffic. He’s similar to David Johnson in that he can function a a receiver, motioning out of the backfield or lining up wide as one.

He’s probably not going to become the team’s No. 1 back, but he will see more playing time.

MORE CARDINALS: Johnson could miss up to 12 weeks with wrist injury

who-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 1

Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington (38) celebrates with running back Chris Johnson (23) after a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in 2015. (Photo: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Johnson

CAREER STATS: 2,118 rushes, 9,537 rushing yards, 4.5 yard average, 55 touchdowns. 302 receptions, 2,212 yards, 9 TDs

Johnson was the final cut on the initial 53-man roster, Arians said. The Cardinals thought Johnson, who turns 32 this month, wasn’t as explosive as in previous years. Arians said Johnson was rusty in training camp.

Johnson gives the Cardinals additional experience. He’s good at picking up the blitz and has decent hands. When he enters the game, however, the blocking scheme changes a bit. The Cardinals' offensive line is built for power football, but Johnson’s favorite play is the zone stretch, which requires linemen to block on the move.

The Cardinals have successfully merged both styles in past years, so it’s possible they could do it again. If Johnson shows his old burst, he could supplant Williams as the starter.

MORE CARDINALS: Cardinals re-sign running back Chris Johnson

Elijhaa Penny

CAREER STATS: None

He played in his first game last Sunday and didn’t touch the football. He did have three tackles on special teams.

Penny likely won’t get many carries this season unless there are more injuries. At 234 pounds, he could be used in short yardage occasionally, including at the goal line.

D.J. Foster

CAREER STATS: 7 rushes, 24 yards, 0 TDs. 1 rec, 2 yards, 0 TDs

He was signed off the Patriots practice squad this week. He’s learning a new system so it’s unlikely he makes a contribution any time soon. If the players above him stay healthy, Foster likely will be inactive each week.

MORE CARDINALS: David Johnson injury: How do the Cardinals survive?

who-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 2 David Johnson on a SI regional cover.  Sports Illustratedwho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 3 Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) watches special teams during practice in Tempe, Ariz. November 23, 2016.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportswho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 4 Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) makes a reception and breaks the tackle attempt of Philadelphia Eagles inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks (95) during the first half at Lincoln Financial Field.  Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sportswho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 5 Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) breaks a tackle by Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Mark Barron (26) during the second quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium October 2, 2016.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportswho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 6 Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) signs autographs for fans following their Red & White practice Saturday, July 29, 2017 in Glendale, Ariz.  David Kadlubowski/azcentral sportswho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 7 Arizona Cardinals David Johnson against the San Francisco 49ers in the first half on Sep. 27, 2015 in Glendale, AZ.  Rob Schumacher/azcentral sportswho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 8 Former Cadinals WR Roy Green and current RB David Johnson speaks to the crowd at the Kick Off Party with the Arizona Cardinals Players at Cowboys Saloon in Peoria September 6, 2016.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportswho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 9 Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) breaks a tackle by Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Mark Barron (26) during the second quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium October 2, 2016.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportswho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 10 Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) reaches for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.  Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sportswho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 11 Cardinals' running back David Johnson poses with participants Pat's Run before the race in Tempe, Ariz. on April 22, 2017.  Patrick Breen/azcentral sportswho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 12 Arizona Cardinals David Johnson warms-up before playing the San Francisco 49ers on Sep. 27, 2015 in Glendale, AZ.  Rob Schumacher/azcentral sportswho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 13 Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Drew Stanton (5) against the San Francisco 49ers during the third quarter at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. October 6, 2016.  Michael Chow, Michael Chow/azcentral sportswho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 14 Cardinals David Johnson catches a touchdown pass over Bengals Vontaze Burfict in the second half on Nov. 22, 2015 in Glendale, Ariz.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportswho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 15 Cardinals running back David Johnson takes a selfie with fans following a Cardinals' training camp practice at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale on Saturday, July 30, 2016.  David Wallace/azcentral sportswho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 16 San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong (54) during the first quarter at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. October 6, 2016.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportswho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 17 Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin celebrates a touchdown by running back David Johnson (31) against the New York Jets during Monday Night Football at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. October 17, 2016.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportswho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 18 Cardinals David Johnson catches a touchdown pass over Bengals Vontaze Burfict in the second half on Nov. 22, 2015 in Glendale, Ariz.  Michael Chow/azcentral sportswho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 19 Cardinals running back David Johnson stiff arms Vikings Anthony Harris during the first half on Dec. 10, 2015 in Glendale, Ariz.  Rob Schumacher/azcentral sportswho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 20 Northern Iowa Panthers running back David Johnson (7) carries for a first down against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium.  Reese Strickland/USA TODAY Sportwho-will-start-for-david-johnson-cardinals-options-for-replacing-injured-running-back photo 21 Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) during training camp Saturday, July 30, 2016 in Glendale, Ariz.  David Kadlubowski/azcentral sports

 

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Article Who will start for David Johnson? Cardinals options for replacing injured running back compiled by www.azcentral.com