In the 2015 NFL draft the Cardinals owned the 55th overall pick. General Manager Steve Keim and coach Bruce Arians were all smiles. The running back they coveted. Ameer Abdullah out of Nebraska was still on the board. Cardinals vice president of player personnel, Terry McDonough was on the phone with the running back when a call came in from Detroit. The Lions owned the pick at #54. They would eventually draft Abdullah leaving the Cardinals to fall back on plan B. At #86 of the 3rd round the Cardinals would select David Johnson out of Northern Iowa.
“Oh how beautifully sweet. The success between fate, and football” Ray Kennedy, 2019
Dangerous Out Of The Backfield
At 6’1″, 224 lbs, Johnson has nimble feet and soft hands. With over 3,000 rushing yards and 33 rushing touchdowns, coupled with 2,164 receiving yards and 14 receiving touchdowns, “dude is dangerous”. A fact no doubt not lost on the current Buccaneer coaching staff.
Having spent the last two weeks on the injured list with an ankle, Johnson will make his return this week against the Buccaneers. Reported by Josh Weinfuss, ESPN staff writer,
“I’m definitely playing,” Johnson said. “I’m definitely playing. I’m good. I’m ready to go,” Johnson said. In the article(seen here) the 4th year RB said he’s at “100 percent.”
The Desert Heat
The Cardinals also have newly acquired RB, Kenyon Drake. Coming from Miami via trade just two weeks ago, the former Alabama running back made his Arizona debut last week in a 25-28 loss to the 49ers. With 110 yards on 15 carries (7.3 yard avg.) and 1 touchdown. Add to that 4 receptions for 52 yards (13 yard avg.). The Buccaneers were no doubt preparing for the run all week.
Either running back will provide Buccaneer defenders with more than enough to cover. Throw in the rushing skills of ‘lil Tyler, and importance of the defense playing disciplined, mistake free football is a must.
This matchup is strength against strength. The Buccaneers will have to continue to stop the run to find the win column on Sunday.
Photo credit: PFT