David Johnson returned to the Cardinals lineup after missing two games with an ankle injury, but he wasn’t the back getting the work in the final minutes of their 30-27 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday.
Johnson fumbled after gaining eight yards on a pass from Kyler Murray in the third quarter and the Cardinals opted to go with Kenyan Drake the rest of the way. On Monday, head coach Kliff Kingsbury said neither the fumble nor the injury were the reason why the Cardinals went with Drake.
“We just felt like with Drake, needed to get something going and kept him rolling,” Kingsbury said. “The last couple weeks, practice, games [he] has brought a little pop to the run game, the pass game, and we felt like he was the guy to try and close the game out with.”
Drake had 10 carries for 35 yards and six catches for six yards, so rolling is likely relative to Johnson’s five carries for two yards.
Kingsbury did say that Johnson’s injuries have “obviously” had an impact on him this season and that makes it hard to come up with a clear blueprint for splitting work in the backfield. He’ll work on that heading into Sunday’s game against the 49ers.