The Arizona Cardinals are off to a rough start to their season, not only because they lost their season opener to the Detroit Lions, but the fact that they lost their best player may be the most painful thing of all.
David Johnson is set to miss a good portion of the season and with him goes most of the Cardinals’ offensive productivity. If we look down the depth chart, backup running back Kerwynn Williams figures to get the bulk of the carries, but the outlook for him isn’t as bright as it would be for Johnson (obviously).
That would mean the Cardinals will likely look for some additional help. The team signed former ASU back DJ Foster off of the Patriots practice squad, but here are some other names they could consider.
This one is the most obvious because of his familiarity with the system, but I don’t see the Cardinals going this route. CJ2K looked slow during the preseason and his lack of ball security certainly didn’t help his chances in making the roster. He could be an option, but again, you may as well run Kerwynn or Elijhaa Penny into the ground instead.
Another savvy veteran that is available and fits the Johnson or Williams last name club, DeAngelo seemed to still have some pep in his step while with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is a guy that could come in and give you probably around 10 effective carries a game if need be, but do the Cardinals want to go with an older guy again? He would probably be able to pick up the offense relatively quickly, but the question is more about how much tread on the tires he has left.
The former Bears starting running back is a former fourth round draft pick and is still only 25 years old. The problem is, he just isn’t an explosive back. In fact, the longest running play he ever had in his two seasons with the Bears went 23 yards. He is capable of being a receiver out of the backfield, but whether or not he can produce at an effective rate as a secondary or tertiary running back is another question entirely.
Currently on the San Francisco 49ers practice squad, McNichols may be the most intriguing option on this list. He has decent size and speed, but neither of those traits are anything to write home about. It is his ability to play as a receiver from the backfield and his vision that made him effective at Boise State. The Cardinals could take a flyer on him after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided to waive him after taking him in the 5th round this past draft.
What do you think, Cards fans? Who are some names you would want the team to look at?