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Cardinals boast NFL's most dangerous backfield with Chris, David Johnson

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Veteran running back Chris Johnson was still clicking on all cylinders when he suffered a fractured tibia in Week 12 last season for the Arizona Cardinals.

Over the next five games, they watched David Johnson emerge into one of the NFL’s top young rushers.

Next season, the Cardinals will find out what happens when the two play together.

The Johnson & Johnson backfield will return in 2016 after Arizona re-signed Chris Johnson to a one-year deal on Thursday. But it’ll likely have a different structure than last season, when Chris became the starter in Week 2 after Andre Ellington suffered a knee injury. Chris proved he could still be an every-down rusher, carrying the load until he got injured. At the time he got hurt, he was the NFL’s fourth-leading rusher with 814 yards.

He was the workhorse the Cardinals were going to ride as long as they could.

But after Chris was injured, that role went to David, who proved he was more than capable of being a primary NFL running back. He was the league’s third-leading rusher the final five games of the season -- just 14 yards away from leading the NFL during that span.

Together, however, they could be the most dangerous duo in the league. Chris brings veteran savvy to a young running back room. David brings size (6-foot-1 and 224 pounds) that’s rare. There were only 22 running backs listed at at least 6-1 and 224 pounds and of those, seven had more than 400 yards. Chris brings durability. He missed only one game prior to last season, sitting out Week 17 of his rookie season after Tennessee clinched a playoff berth. David bring versatility. Chris brings vision. David brings power. Chris brings quick feet.

Together, they could be a nightmare for defenses.When David's power running style needs a breather, a 1,000-yard rusher takes his place. Usually a backup running back is a downgrade from the starter. Not so in Arizona’s case.

But the question with having Chris and David in the backfield becomes keeping them both happy. Chris is a proven 1,000-yard rusher. David likely would’ve hit the prized mark last season had he been the every-down back for 16 games. There’s only one football, though.

The answer to keeping Chris satisfied is to win.

He said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he wasn’t chasing a big contract, but rather seeking a team that has a legitimate chance at to win the Super Bowl. Arizona proved that last season, losing in the NFC Championship Game. Their offseason moves, especially this past week, have primed them for another run.

The dual-threat of Chris and David Johnson makes the Cardinals chances of playing in the last game of the season even better.