Cardinals, Johnson turn back the clock

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson catches a pass and runs the ball during the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.Photo Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It is a lost season for the 2-7 Arizona Cardinals, but that doesn’t mean they can’t take anything positive out of it.

After Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the resurgence of star running back David Johnson in recent weeks is one positive thing, going forward.

Johnson finished with a season-high 98 rushing yards on 21 carries and had seven catches for 85 yards — also season bests — Sunday. He also scored both touchdowns — one rushing and one receiving — in the 26-14 loss.

“I thought it was a great game plan by the offensive coaches,” Cardinals coach Steve Wilks said. “I thought (offensive coordinator) Byron (Leftwich) did a tremendous job of really calling the game, getting into a flow and rhythm of the game. As we all have seen — and you guys have been here before myself — what David is capable of doing. And we saw that. He had some hard runs inside the tackles, did some good things getting outside as well as in the passing game. So I thought Byron did a tremendous job of just trying to get him the ball.”

Not jaw-dropping numbers, but improving nonetheless, and a big part of that is the play calling.

“The first eight weeks were tough, trying to get used to a new type of offense,” Johnson said. “It was tough, but the biggest thing is I’m glad we’re coming back to the old ways.”

Johnson’s resurgence seems to have come with the promotion of Leftwich to offensive coordinator. Johnson totaled 100 yards from scrimmage in Leftwich’s debut before Sunday’s big game.

“It felt good,” Johnson said. “It made me feel like it was back to the 2016 offense.”

–G Justin Pugh tore the MCL in his left knee and will likely move to the injured reserve, according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro. Pugh left Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the third quarter.

–WR Larry Fitzgerald passed Terrell Owens for the second-most receiving yards in NFL history on Sunday. Fitzgerald has 15,952 in his career, and now only trails Jerry Rice (22,895).

–QB Josh Rosen was 22 of 39 for 208 yards and two interceptions and a lost fumble Sunday. He threw for a touchdown, but his rating as an abysmal 58.5.

–RB David Johnson had a season-high 98 rushing yards on 21 carries and had seven catches for 85 yards — also season bests — Sunday.

–S Budda Baker played all but three defensive snaps Sunday after leaving the game briefly in the first half. The team is awaiting MRI results for an unknown injury.

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