David Johnson did not have the type of season to justify why he was the grand prize in the Houston Texans’ decision to depart from DeAndre Hopkins. He appeared in 12 games where he recorded 691 rushing yards on 147 attempts and six touchdowns on the season.
Johnson was far from the player that earned him All-Pro honors in 2016 with the Arizona Cardinals. But a bulk of his struggles in 2020 was the result of his health.
A concussion placed Johnson on injured reserve for three weeks, and he missed a game upon his return due to the NFL’s health and safety protocols due to COVID-19.
On the heels of his second season with the Texans, Johnson’s primary focus in 2021 will be on his health and comfortability with his teammates.
“The biggest thing is just staying healthy and trying to get comfortable with my teammate,” Johnson said via Zoom on Monday. “Being able to trust in them, and for them to trust in me that I can do my job first and foremost. With me going into my second year, I think we could get more comfortable.”
As a veteran with several lingering injuries, Johnson said his goal this coming season is to spend as much time in the training room as possible. It would allow Johnson to strengthen his mobility and range of motion in an attempt to improve his health. Despite his struggles throughout the season, Johnson’s last three games were a testament that the 29-year-old running back has a lot left in the tank.
To close out the Texans’ 4-12 season, Johnson posted 239 yards on the ground on 34 attempts, to go along with two touchdowns. As a pass-catcher coming out of the backfield, he posted 153 yards on 17 catches — missing only two targets.
“It’s motivation,” he said. “Just knowing that I can still contribute in the run game and be an effective player — it’s just motivation. I feel like with those three last games I had last year, it gave me a lot of momentum going into this next season.”
Johnson will be returning to the Texans after the reconstruction of his contract. His new deal is worth a projected $6 million with $4.25 million fully guaranteed.