Back in April, Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said that he would like to get All-Pro running back David Johnson 30 touches per game. Johnson sounded like he would relish the opportunity, saying, “I’m still young… I’m still on my first contract. So, I feel I can definitely handle 30 touches.”
Recently, Johnson maintained that stance with Sirius XM NFL Radio, saying, “I feel like there’s room for me to definitely carry more,” Johnson said. “I think the biggest thing is me learning and getting better and improving. So I feel like I can definitely get that 30 touches, not all rushing obviously.”
An average of 30 touches per game is a lot. However, the big concern is Johnson’s return from a left MCL sprain suffered in Week 17 last year. It did not require surgery, and Johnson has since stated that he is “100 percent”.
In 2016, Johnson averaged 23.3 touches per game (18.3 carries and 5.0 catches). That number is slightly skewed since he was unable to finish Week 17. But, a jump in average of seven touches is still quite substantial.
Regardless of whether he averages 30 touches per game or 23, Johnson should be in everybody’s top three running backs for 2017.