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2014 NFL countdown: 39 days left and a look at the Cardinals history of No. 39

Just another day closer.


There are now 39 days left until the Arizona Cardinals play on Monday Night Football to open the 2014 regular season.

We now also look at No. 39 and its history with the team.

Running back Robert Hughes, signed this past offseason, now wears 39. He has gotten praise for his blocking and his pass catching.

What about before Hughes?

In 2012, it was worn by reserve safety James Sanders. He made an impact on the season when he picked up a Mike Vick fumble at the end of the first half against the Eagles, returning it 93 yards for a touchdown.

In the preseason of 2011, the Cardinals had a linebacker by the name of Duke Lemmens. He did not make the final roster.

In 2006, it was worn by tight end John Bronson, who played three games and caught one pass that season.

From 1999-2002 it was fullback Dennis McKinley. He was a Cardinals sixth round pick originally and played four years in the league.

In 1995, defensive back C.J. Richardson wore it, playing in one whole game.

Running back Brian Henesy wore it in 1994. He never carried the ball, but did return kicks in three games.

The player I remember with 39 as running back Johnny Johnson. He was a surprise player who played for the Cards in 1990-92.. Taken in the seventh round, he rushed for over 900 yards in his rookie year. Were it not for Emmitt Smith's slightly better rookie year, Johnson might have been the offensive Rookie of the Year. What was notable is that the Cardinals had taken a running back, Anthony Thompson, who was supposed to be their featured back. Thompson was one of the team's biggest draft busts. Johnson was traded to the Jets in 1992 as part of a draft day deal that moved Arizona up one spot in the draft to take running back Garrison Hearst, who would eventually be another notable bust.

Before Johnson:

1986-87 -- RB Broderick Sargent

1978-84 -- RB Willard Harrell

1968-71 -- FB Cid Edwards

1953 -- DB/HB Tony Curcillo

Johnson is the best of that group, and he only played for the Cardinals three seasons.