The Ascent, Setbacks, and Revival of Running Back David Johnson in the NFL

The Ascent, Setbacks, and Revival of Running Back David Johnson in the NFL

The Ascent, Setbacks, and Revival of Running Back David J...

David Johnson, a former All-Pro running back, recently announced his retirement from the NFL after eight impactful seasons. His journey in the league was marked by remarkable achievements, debilitating setbacks, and a resilient revival that defined his career.

Early Career and Rise to Success

David Johnson's journey to NFL stardom began with his remarkable performance at Northern Iowa, where he amassed over 6,400 all-purpose yards and 63 touchdowns during his four seasons with the Panthers.

Despite receiving little fanfare coming out of high school, Johnson's success at the college level led to the Arizona Cardinals selecting him with the 86th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

In his rookie season, Johnson quickly made his mark as he transitioned from a backup to a starting role due to an injury to former All-Pro Chris Johnson.

He exhibited his versatility and playmaking ability, recording 120 total yards and a touchdown in his first start, foreshadowing the promise he held.

Peak Performance and All-Pro Recognition

The 2016 season was a defining year for Johnson as he blossomed into one of the NFL's most productive backs. He led the league with 2,118 total yards from scrimmage, including 1,239 rushing and 879 receiving yards. His exceptional performance earned him an All-Pro nod, solidifying his status as a force to be reckoned with in the NFL.

Setbacks and Resilience

Unfortunately, injuries began to impact Johnson's career, starting with a knee injury late in the 2016 season and a wrist dislocation in Week 1 of the 2017 season, which sidelined him for the majority of the year. Despite these setbacks, the Cardinals recognized his potential and awarded him a lucrative contract extension.

Trade to the Texans and Career Challenges

In 2019, Johnson's production dipped, leading to a trade to the Houston Texans in exchange for star wideout DeAndre Hopkins. Although he had a solid initial year in Houston, his touches and impact decreased significantly in the following seasons, posing challenges to his career trajectory.

Retirement and Legacy

As Johnson announced his retirement, he reflected on the highs and lows of his career, emphasizing the impact he hopes to have made both on and off the field. Throughout his career, Johnson also founded The Johnson Family's Mission 31 Foundation, demonstrating his commitment to providing support to seriously-ill children and their families.

 

David Johnson's NFL journey epitomizes the resilience and determination required to navigate the highs and lows of a professional football career.

From his early rise to stardom to the setbacks he faced, Johnson's impact on the league and his enduring legacy serve as a testament to his unwavering spirit and dedication to the sport.


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