Chris Johnson preparing for '20, 25 touches a game'

With Andre Ellington likely sidelined this week after suffering a (Grade 1) PCL sprain, Chris Johnson will get new life in the Arizona Cardinals backfield.

Prior to Ellington's injury with about 12 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 31-19 victory over the New Orleans Saints, Johnson had just three carries for seven yards. After Ellington's exit, Johnson carried seven times for 30 yards.

"I'm always preparing myself like I'm getting 20, 25 touches a game," Johnson said Monday, via "With me (my mindset ) don't change at all. Practice hard every week, study a lot, and just, even though when you're not the starter, you still have to go in there like you're going to have to play. They're still going to need you and knowing that I'm going to have a role on this team, I can't sit there and not prepare like a starter even though I'm not the starter. I got to prepare the same way."

Johnson said the consistent playing time down the stretch allowed him to find a "groove."

"It was kind of good for me to get in there in (the) fourth quarter and get some touches back-to-back and get a rhythm," Johnson said. "Anytime you are in there, even with a receiver, catching the ball, learning your offensive line, you need to get in a rhythm."

If Ellington is sidelined Sunday versus the Bears -- and perhaps longer -- Johnson will have a chance to continue that groove and convince the coaching staff to keep him in a bigger role when the shifty Ellington returns. Coach Bruce Arians admitted Monday that Johnson could get a chance to keep the starting gig depending on his performance.

"It will always be a one-two punch," Arians said. "Who will start? It doesn't matter to me who gets the carries."

Arians added he doesn't want to put too much "pressure" on rookie running back David Johnson this early in career, so it appears the Chris Johnson will get his latest chance to rewrite the narrative on his dwindling NFL career.

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