The running back position starts and ends with David Johnson. Johnson finished with 2,118-yards from scrimmage in 2016.
Although he did get hurt in the season finale, he dodged a bullet with a sprained MCL and is only going to be out for about six weeks before he can resume activity. He will be the starter in 2017.
The questions are with who else are they going to keep after that? Andre Ellington is a free agent, as is Stepfan Taylor. The Cardinals also have Kerwynn Williams.
Williams has been on and off the roster for the last two plus seasons. He certainly has been able to fill the void at backup running back. The problem is with special teams.
Williams is not very good at special teams and in fact missed a block last Sunday during a punt and the Los Angeles Rams blocked the punt because of it. Taylor meanwhile is a very good special teams player.
Ellington has the versatility that Johnson has. Despite his injuries in the past, although he played 2016 injury-free, he is still a consideration to bring back.
Both Ellington and Taylor, mainstays since being drafted by the Cardinals in 2013, could find themselves looking for new jobs. The Cardinals can only re-sign so many and despite the special teams performance, they may move in a different direction for more solid backup for Johnson.
Who will be back in 2017:
Yes: David Johnson
Maybe: Andre Ellington, Kerwynn Williams, Elijhaa Penny (future contract)
No: Stepfan Taylor, Chris Johnson