The Texans have placed running back David Johnson on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team announced. Johnson landed on the list because of his status as a close contact of someone who tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (on Twitter).
It’s especially bad timing for Johnson, who suffered a concussion during Houston’s Week 9 win over the Jaguars, landed on IR as a result, and was activated just last week. In the Texans’ loss to the Colts on Sunday, Johnson carried the ball 10 times for 44 yards and a score.
For the season, he has mustered a 4.0 yards-per-carry average over 113 totes to go along with four TDs. He’s added 16 catches for 161 yards and a score through the air. Those are all decent enough numbers, but the Texans (or at least since-deposed HC/GM Bill O’Brien) were probably hoping for more when they acquired Johnson from Arizona this offseason in one of the most heavily-criticized trades in recent memory.
At this point, it seems unlikely that Johnson will ever regain the All-Pro form he demonstrated with the Cardinals back in 2016. He will turn 29 next week, and the injuries he has sustained over the years certainly appear to have taken their toll. He is under contract through 2021, but his base salary of $7.95MM and roster bonus of $1.05MM look pretty steep at this point. It would not be surprising to see the Texans try to work out a paycut with Johnson or to simply release him.
Duke Johnson will get the majority of the work in David Johnson’s stead for this weekend’s matchup with the Bears.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.