New York Jets new running back Chris Johnson is confident that he can win the feature back role on his new team after rushing for at least 1,000 yards in all of his six seasons with the Tennessee Titans before being released since his rate stats didn’t match up with his gaudy salary. Johnson has a fierce competitor for the starting gig, though, as Chris Ivory was a big addition last year and had a strong season. The former New Orleans Saints backup is a solid feature back when healthy, and the Jets have stated that they will role with whoever is playing well (the “hot hand” approach) but made it clear that they will give CJ1K every chance to succeed (the whole, “it’s all on him” approach).
Johnson averaged just 3.9 yards per carry last season, and it was the lowest total of his career. However, he also toughed it out on a torn meniscus that needed surgery this offseason, so a change of scenery and better health could gives him some bounce-back potential. He recently spoke to NFL Network’s Around the League and stated that he thinks the Jets will go with him as the feature back instead of using a time share if he “continues” to play at a high level, which somewhat contradicts something his running backs coach stated about keeping the veteran “fresh”.
When it comes to the injury front, Johnson has made steady progress throughout this offseason in his rehab from knee surgery, and if he isn’t 100% yet, then he’s right on the cusp and should be 100% right when training camp opens. He told the NFL Network that Dr. James Andrews “pretty much cleared” him for duty, but he did state that he’s not 100% yet, “I wouldn’t label myself at 100 percent, but very close. In the 90s.”