Cardinals RB David Johnson: Fully recovered from wrist fracture

TEMPE, Ariz. -- All systems are go for David Johnson.

The Arizona Cardinals' star running back said Thursday that his left wrist, which he fractured in Week 1 last season, is "100 percent" and "all back together." That will allow Johnson to be "full speed" for OTAs and minicamp later this offseason.

"I got cleared so, I'm good to go," Johnson said.

Johnson returns with a chip on his shoulder to prove he can pick up where he left off in September.

"I'm very motivated," he said. "Not really just about the people out there, but it's really about myself and coming back for the team, for my teammates, for the coaches with everything being so new.

"It's really about coming back and bouncing back and being able to play this sport."

The fourth-year back wasn't surprised that his injury took as long as it did to heal after he researched the small bones and ligaments that comprise the wrist.

"I found out it's a difficult injury to really come back from," he said.

With Arizona beginning the first phase of its offseason conditioning program this week, Johnson has been back in the weight room with no limitations. During his recovery, Johnson said that strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris adapted bench presses, chest and arm workouts so that he was able to do them with a cast on.

Now that he's healed, Johnson said he's back doing the same workouts his teammates are.

"I've been benching, and I've been doing push-ups," he said. "I've been doing everything as far as what everyone else has been doing."

Johnson, who was a first-time All-Pro and Pro Bowler in 2016, said he didn't know when his wrist fully healed. But last season he took his recovery "day by day" and didn't want to rush a return, "but make sure I'm 100 percent before I do anything."

That led to Johnson not knowing whether he could have played toward the end of last season. "No one knows about that," he said.

With his return this season, Johnson is dusting off one particular goal he had last season: 1,000 receiving yards and 1,000 rushing yards. He came within 121 receiving yards of becoming the third player in NFL history to reach 1,000 yards in both categories in 2016 before suffering an MCL injury in Week 17. He was then hurt in Week 1 in 2017. Still, Johnson said he hasn't thought about the fact that he's gotten hurt in his past two games.

"That didn't really come to mind at all," he said. "I'm more of a positive guy. I'm so excited about the year coming up, so I don't really dwell on the past or anything like that."

This week marks Johnson's return, and that means he can put behind him last season -- for now, at least.

"It's been rough," he said. "It's definitely been the toughest year of my football career because I haven't been able to play. I haven't been able to help the team. Been on the sideline watching and really just trying to coach, but it's been definitely the toughest year of my career."