Duke Johnson

Duke Johnson

Preseason

Chance of Injury in 2020: question mark 31%
Chance of Injury per Game: question mark 2.3%
Projected Games missed for 2020: question mark 0.7
Durability: question mark 13

Low Risk

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Duke Johnson Player Overview

What You Need To Know:

  • Johnson caught a career-low 44 passes in 2019. His 9.3 yards per catch checked in a touch above his career average.
  • The 26-year-old has yet to miss an NFL game.
  • David Johnson’s arrival crushes Duke’s upside — at least on the surface. But given David’s advanced age and injury history, it’s quite possible Duke emerges as more than a change of pace back.


Johnson heads south

Shipping a Round 3 pick to Cleveland, the Texans acquired Johnson last August. His 2019 unfolded much like his 5 previous seasons: light on rush attempts, healthy on receptions.

Playing behind Carlos Hyde (245-1,070-6 in 16 games), Johnson took 83 carries for 410 yards and 2 scores. He maxed out at 9 carries in a single game (Weeks 1, 5 and 13). And while Johnson was efficient with 4.9 yards per carry, he garnered only 2 rushes in goal line situations.

As a receiver, Johnson matched the 62 targets and 3 TDs he posted in 2018. He added 9.3 yards per reception, 6th most among 32 RBs with 40+ targets. He dropped only 1 pass and forced a missed tackle at a higher rate than Melvin Gordon, Zeke Elliott and Joe Mixon, per PFF.

Ultimately, the 26-year-old proved better in real life than in fantasy. He reached 15 points only 3 times, helping him settle into a RB44 finish in PPR points per game.


Year 2 in Houston

Gone is Carlos Hyde, who joined the Seahawks in May. In comes David Johnson, whose durability concerns breathe life into Duke’s 2020 potential.

While DJ has an RB1 finish on his resume (2016), the results since then haven’t been encouraging. 2017 turned up a wrist injury that limited him to 1 game. 2018 produced a full slate but only 3.6 yards per carry. Then last year, ankle and back injuries forced 3 absences and eventually a backup role under first-year HC Kliff Kingsbury.

So at 29 (in December), the new Texan isn’t a lock to rebound anywhere close to his 2016 level of play. Still, after…

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Duke Johnson Injury History

Date League Injury Details
Aug 29, 2015 NFL Head Cranial Concussion Grade 1 Johnson took a huge hit in the third preseason game and was diagnosed with a concussion. He returned for Week 1 of the regular season.
Aug 1, 2015 NFL Thigh Hamstring Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1 Johnson pulled his hamstring in training camp and missed several practice sessions -- plus 2 preseason games.
Dec 27, 2014 Non-NFL Pedal Ankle Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1 Johnson sprained the same ankle he fractured a year ago and was carted off the final game of the season.
Nov 2, 2013 Non-NFL Pedal Ankle Fracture Johnson fractured his right ankle and missed 6 games.