FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets running back Chris Johnson is relieved to be back in the mix. After a seven-yard game against the Bills, Johnson gained more than 100 combined yards last week in a loss to Kansas City.
"It felt good to get consistent carries and be out there more basically for the first time all year since the first game of the season, the chance to get into a rhythm," Johnson said.
Chris Ivory has gotten more playing time starting since the Raiders game, meaning Johnson was often limited even though he is healthy.
After the high-profile free agent and former Titan was signed in April, there was talk that he would get back to the kind of production that earned him the nickname CJ2K, after gaining 2006 yards in 2009. This was a running back who was in contention for NFL MVP at one time, and this season has had trouble securing the Jets starting spot.
Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said the Jets like pairing Ivory and Johnson depending on the situation, and both said they usually go into each game not sure of who will get the bulk of the carries. That is part of the plan, and last week was Johnson’s turn.
"Well, (Johnson) got going just a little bit, and it’s little bit series to series and then give the guys a breather, but yeah, he did a fine job," Mornhinweg said. "Every game is just a little bit different that way."
Johnson said it’s been a struggle to get into a rhythm when the carries come so sporadically.
"I think it’s important for any running back to be able to get carries early and get consistent carries," Johnson said. "I don’t think there’s any running back out there that can get a couple carries and really be successful without being able to get in a rhythm."
Johnson admits that this has been a frustrating season for him. This is a running back who had his own 40 time at the NFL Combine encrusted in diamonds on a necklace that looks like a stopwatch.
"It’s very tough being that we’re 1-8, and then at the same time not being able to get as many opportunities, it’s even more frustrating," Johnsons said. "So just you got to continue to work hard and continue to take advantage of your opportunities when you get them."