Kliff Kingsbury: David Johnson is part of this offense

Charean Williams

David Johnson is the fourth-highest paid running back in the league, averaging $13 million per season. He is making $5.7 million in base salary this season and counts $9.75 million against the Cardinals’ salary cap.

That makes him the most overpaid running back in the league.

The Cardinals’ trade for Kenyan Drake has turned Johnson into a backup running back. Johnson played nine snaps Sunday. Drake played 61.

Johnson failed to get a touch despite being healthy, the first time that’s happened in his five-year career.

Kliff Kingsbury said after Sunday’s game Johnson’s lack of playing time had more to do with Drake having “the hot hand.” The Cardinals coach reiterated that Monday.

“David is a part of this offense, and we have to find a way to make sure he’s playing at a high level and that we can get him the football,” Kingsbury said, via Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.

Kingsbury said Johnson’s usage is “week to week, game plans change.”

Drake, acquired in a trade Oct. 28, has 57 touches for 283 yards and a touchdown in three games with the Cardinals. Since returning from an ankle injury that kept him out in Week Nine against the 49ers, Johnson has played 36 snaps in two games and has six touches for 10 yards and a fumble.