Update: The Cardinals have signed running back Alfred Morris while David Johnson deals with his ankle injury.
The Arizona Cardinals left fantasy football owners shaking their heads in Week 7 when they swapped out running back David Johnson for Chase Edmonds early in their win over the New York Giants. Johnson had been dealing with an ankle injury, but was active and got the start. However, after three snaps, Chase Edmonds replaced Johnson and was the starter the rest of the game.
Edmonds had the best game of his NFL career, scoring three touchdowns and finishing the day with 150 total yards of offense. It all came as a surprise, and if Edmonds is to be believed, he thought he was going to get some opportunities, but did not know until nearly the last minute. He explained the situation to Ian Rapoport on the latter’s podcast.
I didn’t really know until end of the week. I kinda just had an idea of it — being that I had an ankle injury senior year of my college year that kinda messed up my senior season — I was just seeing to myself how he was moving a little bit. I kinda figured a little bit — I obviously got a little more snaps, I knew I was going to be playing more. I didn’t know for sure I’d have the bulk of the carries until obviously that came down that he couldn’t go, that first carry he had. But once that happened, it’s time to go, there’s no looking back. It’s next man up. That’s how this business works, this standard doesn’t change. That’s why I pride myself on just preparing every single day like I’m gonna be the one getting the bulk of the carries because you never know what’s gonna happen.
It’s possible the Cardinals want Edmonds to play things close to the vest, but given how the injury report operates, I wouldn’t be surprised if this didn’t become clear until after the final practice.
This does not offer much clarity for Week 8. The Cardinals return to practice on Wednesday, but clearly we can’t take their injury report entirely seriously. Every team plays games with it, so this isn’t surprising. But for the next week or two, we might have to tread lightly with Johnson and Edmonds.
But if we’re lucky, it will result in more trolling of fantasy owners.