As if Sunday’s loss at the hands of the Detroit Lions wasn’t enough, the Arizona Cardinals learned that running back David Johnson will undergo wrist surgery and miss two to three months.
Cardinals’ RB David Johnson is having wrist surgery this week and is expected to miss 2-3 months, source tells ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 12, 2017
In light of Johnson’s absence, there was speculation who would take over the Cardinals’ backfield for the next couple of months. Arizona made a move that sums up what they feel about their current candidates, signing running back Chris Johnson with the team. This comes after the team released the latter when roster cuts were made, but was expected when the starting running back went down.
The running back situation in Arizona is muddled at best, but Chris Johnson will likely get the most carries between him, Kerwynn Williams and Andre Ellington. However, all three of these backs will have a hard time replacing the production that the Cardinals received from David Johnson in 2016.
From a fantasy perspective, Johnson’s absence is going to hit owners hard. Many — if not all — fantasy owners that had the first pick in their fantasy football drafts selected Johnson, expecting close to the same production as last season. They now find a void that is not easily filled by waiver wire players.
Adding to the need to find a replacement now for their team, there is also the possibility that Johnson doesn’t play again this season.
This unknown timeline affects fantasy owners, but drastically impacts the Cardinals in the NFC West race. With the Los Angeles Rams firing on all cylinders currently, there is a possibility that the West becomes the Rams’ to lose.
On top of that, the Cardinals hope that Carson Palmer shakes off the new season jitters that he suffered from in Week One against the Lions. It was obvious that Palmer missed the presence of David Johnson, and he wasn’t able to recover from the loss of the team’s starting running back.
The season is only one week in, but the Arizona Cardinals are already in scramble mode to keep their season afloat and playoff chances alive. And they are hoping that they will still be in the playoff hunt when David Johnson is ready to return.