Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians was firm in response to the media this week about how his offensive scheme would change following the news that RB David Johnson would miss at least two months with a wrist injury.
“Not one iota,” Arians said.
But this, really, is a semantics thing. The scheme will not change, sure. But how the offense is executed will — dramatically, we might add. QB Carson Palmer admitted as much.
“It changes drastically,” Palmer said. “You lose who I think is one of the best football players in this league [in Johnson], things are obviously going to change.”
Palmer is right. The play calling will change. Aspects of the run game will be different. The passing game, however, expects to be affected the most. Don’t forget that LT D.J. Humphries also was injured in Week 1 and could be out a few weeks as well. Humphries’ replacement, John Wetzel, struggled in his place.
Here’s what we expect, based on folks we spoke with this week, starting with Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts: The bread and butter of Arians’ offense has always been the deep ball and how the Cardinals set it up, either with short throws, double moves or a steady run game. We don’t expect that to completely disappear with Johnson and Humphries out, of course. It could just be more selective.
Initially after Johnson left the game for good in Week 1, the Cardinals appeared interested in actually running the ball more often, using Kerwynn Williams on three straight carries at the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the…
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