Duke Johnson deserves first crack at Dolphins’ starting running back job
The Dolphins were not an efficient running team, but did average 134. Buy 89 Nat Moore NFL Jerseys, 5 rushing yards over their final four games of the season (11th-most in the NFL), which represents a marked improvement over their season average Buy Miami Dolphins NFL Jerseys, . Coincidentally, those four games featured midseason signee Duke Johnson as the team’s lead bac Buy NFL Nike Jerseys, k. The pending free agent did enough with the opportunity that the Dolphins should re-sign him in 20 Cheap NFL Nike Jerseys, 22.
Johnson, 28, grew up down the street from Hard Rock Stadium and played for the University of Miami. He was the lone Dolphins rusher to eclipse the 100-yard mark in a single game this season, doing so in Week 15 and again in Week 18. He punctuated his first stint with his hometown team with 117 yards on 25 carries — both career-highs — in the season finale, a 33-24 win against the New England Patriots.
Signed to Miami’s practice squad on Oct. 26, Johnson was happy just to be on the field, let alone as a feature back.
“No one was giving me the opportunity just to play,” he said. “Whether it was third down, special teams, no one gave me the opportunity. And the Dolphins did.”
Over the final four weeks of the regular season, he ranked No. 8 in the league with 312 rushing yards on 67 carries (4.7 YPC) and No. 2 with 11 runs of 10 or more yards. He infused life into a rushing attack that failed to complement Miami’s passing game in 2021 — particularly with the way he ran through contact.
Typecast as a third-down, receiving back throughout his career, Johnson was targeted only five times in five games played with Miami. Instead of being asked to contribute as a receiver, the Dolphins gave him the first two 20-carry workloads of his career.
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