David Johnson probably didn't think he would be in a competition for carries after one season with the Houston Texans That's the business of the NFL, especially for a franchise that is set to enter a massive rebuild.
Johnson will forever be linked to the controversial trade of DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals as his performance with the Texans is monitored game by game. This season, Johnson is seeking to retain his role as the No. 1 option as Houston added Phillip Lindsay and Mark Ingram II in free agency -- two running backs who have plenty of starting experience.
"I think it will be great," Johnson said about the potential of splitting carries this year. "I think it will be great for us because it will help us all stay healthy and play in this long season, now hearing that they're going to add another game to the season.
"I think it will be great for us having veteran guys. That way we can all play together and it won't be a lot of learning to be a professional athlete. Guys are really respected in the league, guys are responsible, real good pros in the league. I think it will help out a lot with this team, with the team morale and getting everyone going, especially with this run game. It was a tough running game last year and hopefully we can all -- all three of us -- can contribute and get this thing going."
The 17-game season will play a role in running backs splitting touches around the league, so Johnson is looking toward the situation as a positive (even though he admitted he's not a fan of the extra game). Johnson rushed for 691 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games in 2020, averaging a career-high 4.7 yards per carry. He also had 33 receptions for 314 yards and two touchdowns, totaling 1,005 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns.
Johnson will be 30 in December and has a lot of wear and tear on his body, so limiting his touches will be a good thing. At least that's how he's embracing things going forward.
"Competition is going to make us all better and it's going to start in the spring," Johnson said. "Hopefully, we can do something with COVID going on, but it'll transfer all the way to the season. I think with us competing against each other, trying to make each other better and we all trying to see the field, it's going to make our team better, make our running game better and make our offense better."