Many were skeptical about running back David Johnson due to his price and the lack of performance. Especially since the Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins, a top-three receiver in the NFL, for him. However, in his first game as a Texan, he made people forget how bad that trade and his contract was.
In the season opener, David Johnson ran for 77 yards and a touchdown on 11 attempts. Johnson also had 32 yards on three receptions. His 19-yard touchdown is his longest scoring run since his glory days of 2016.
Texans Head Coach and General Manager, Bill O’Brien, had this to say about David Johnson’s performance on Thursday.
“Just from the sideline without watching the tape, I thought he played well. He ran hard. He is a good player. He’s a very good player, and he did a lot of things well, a lot of things we can build on. He ran the ball. He caught passes out of the backfield. I thought he did a lot of things well, so there is a lot to build on there.”
David Johnson was once one of the top two-way running backs in the league. He led the league back in 2016 with 2,118 total yards from scrimmage. That performance in 2016 led the Cardinals to give him a three-year $39 million. Despite the spectacular performance in 2016, injuries have kept Johnson down since 2016. The Texans, however, are hoping that he can come back to form and provide a boost to their already exceptional offense.
After the game Texan QB Deshaun Watson said this about the veteran back,
“Hard runner, great vision, going to play to the final whistle. Finding a new rhythm of a new offense, getting his feet wet. He did a good job of making plays and running the ball.”
Although David Johnson’s contract is steep, if he keeps playing as he did on Thursday, he would have been worth it. But for the price of $10.2 million this year, Johnson won’t just have to play well, he’ll have to play great, and he’ll have to do it all year.