Chris Johnson is 'more than ready to go' as Cardinals decide on starting RB

Chris Johnson said he will prepare for the Cowboys as if he's the starter even if the Cardinals decide to use another running back. Michael Reaves/Getty Images

TEMPE, Ariz. -- If the old adage, it's not how you start, it's how you finish, holds true, then running back Chris Johnson should find himself starting Monday night against the Dallas Cowboys.

Johnson made his 2017 debut with the Arizona Cardinals at the 11:27 mark of the second quarter Sunday afternoon against the Indianapolis Colts, but when Arizona was climbing its way back from a 13-3 deficit in the fourth quarter, it was Johnson getting the carries, not Kerwynn Williams, who started the game.

That likely means Arizona has found a running back rotation that'll suit them until David Johnson returns from wrist surgery – whenever that may be.

"I liked what I saw in Chris," coach Bruce Arians said. "He's more than ready to go."

But an official decision whether Johnson will assume the starting role hasn't been made yet, Arians said Monday.

"We'll make that determination later," he said.

It looked like the decision was made at the beginning of the second half when Johnson trotted out for the Cardinals' first offensive play of the third quarter. But Johnson, 31, isn't worrying about whether he'll start Monday night on prime time.

"I just went out there and tried to control what I can control and made the most of my opportunities," he said. "That's all I can do. Everything else is out of my control.

"That's something I don't really worry about."

Johnson said he doesn't need to be named the starter to prepare as the starter.

He finished with 11 carries for 44 yards on Sunday as part of a rotation that saw all four active running backs see action. He had three carries for 22 yards in the first half, but had a 21-yard run on his first carry of the game reduced to three yards after a holding penalty on tight end Troy Niklas, and eight carries for 22 yards in the second half.

Williams had nine carries for 22 yards and Andre Ellington had two carries for 11. Ellington played mainly on passing downs in the second half, when Williams' reps appeared to decline.

Johnson said he'll make sure his conditioning is game ready in case he's called upon to start.

"Just continue to prepare the same I've been preparing," Johnson said.