Former Texans RB David Johnson retires

Former Houston Texans running back David Johnson is calling it a career.

Johnson, who spent two seasons with the Texans, announced his retirement on Sunday after eight seasons. He last appeared in 2022 as a member of the New Orleans Saints.

“I’m looking forward to my next career path in life,” Johnson wrote in his post to Instagram. “I don’t know exactly what that will be, but I hope it will bring me the same passion, excitement, and love as football did!”

A third-round pick out of Northern Iowa in 2015, Johnson amassed 6,876 yards from scrimmage and 58 touchdowns. He’s best known for his time with the Arizona Cardinals, whom he earned All-Pro status in 2016. 

It took two games for Johnson to prove he belonged as an FCS talent, becoming the first player in NFL history to score a rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown, and kickoff return touchdown in the first two games of a career.

As the full-time starter in 2016, Johnson led the league in total scrimmage yards (2,118) and touchdowns (20). He rushed for 1,239 yards and averaged 4.2 yards per play. Johnson was a first-team All-Pro selection and finished third in voting for AP Offensive Player of the Year.

“I am blessed and very appreciative of the Cardinals drafting me in the 3rd round and I started my NFL career hitting the ground running (literally)! 2 games in, getting my uniform and cleats put in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton,” he wrote in his post.

Johnson tore his ACL in the first game of 2017, starting a series of nagging injuries that limited him to playing in 30 of 48 games in the final three years with Arizona. 

In 2020, the running back became the centerpiece of what many consider to be the worst trade in recent NFL history. The Texans added Johnson, along with a second and fourth-rounder in exchange for All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins and a fourth-round pick. 

In 2020, Johnson served as the primary starter for the Texans’ rushing attack appearing in 12 games and totaling a team-leading 691 rushing yards. He averaged 4.7 yards per play.

In Johnson’s second year, he was more of a complementary backing, starting just four games. His Houston tenure resulted in 1,458 yards from scrimmage and nine total touchdowns.


“When it’s all said and done, I really hope I impacted at least 1 person on and off the field in a positive way,” Johnson wrote. “I hope I was able to pay it forward, from the countless people who guided and taught me the right way to go about business, and giving back with integrity and a humble demeanor!”

The average length of a career in the NFL is 3.3 years, according to Statista. Running backs have the shortest shelf life, averaging a career of 2.5 years. Johnson lasted eight and made nearly $40 million as a former third-round pick. 

Story originally appeared on Texans Wire