Chris Johnson feels good after first tackles since fracturing tibia

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Chris Johnson was nervous during the Arizona Cardinals’ Red and White practice on Saturday about getting tackled for the first time since fracturing his tibia in Week 12 last season.

He was, in particular, concerned how his knee would hold up, but once he took his first hit, those nerves disappeared.

“Once I got hit the first time, it was like, ‘OK, it feels normal,’” Johnson said.

The 30-year-old running back had 814 yards before his injury, which was fourth most in the NFL through the first 12 weeks. Getting reacquainted to hits was another step for Johnson in his return back from the first major injury of his career, which ended his season.

Saturday was the closest thing to live game action for Johnson, and he survived. He said he felt good after practice, even if it took a little while to get adjust to the tackling.

“At practice we don’t tackle to the ground,” Johnson said. “We never get real work. The first time you go out there, it’s a little awkward because you’re used to them just wrapping you up. This time you’re going all the way to the ground so you get a little hesitant at first. But as you keep playing [and] keep going, you get more confident.”