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Arizona Cardinals sign running back Chris Johnson

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Chris Johnson is back in the NFL. He has less than three weeks to prove he still belongs.

The Arizona Cardinals have agreed to terms with Johnson to a one-year deal, the team announced. 

Every game, all season

Johnson will try to earn a spot on the team behind starter Andre Ellington. The opportunity opened up in large part because rookie third round pick David Johnson has been unable to practice throughout camp because of a hamstring injury.

It's hard to believe but there was legitimately a time in NFL history where folks argued whether Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson was the best running back in the league. That came after Johnson's 2000-yard campaign in 2009, a feat that the former Tennessee Titans has been chasing ever since.

The reality is that Johnson was never great at making defenders miss in small spaces, and he doesn't fight through tackles between the numbers. He's a boom or bust runner that combines a lot of one-yard gains with the occasional big play. The Cardinals already have a big play threat in Ellington, and really need a chain-mover that could help on third downs. Johnson was workmanlike as a member of the Jets last year, where he got 179 touches.

With final cutdowns only a few weeks away, Johnson will have to impress coach Bruce Arians quickly to make the team. Johnson is certainly not going to help on special teams, so he has to make the case that he can share the load with Ellington.

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