Duke Johnson Injury Updates

The Texans "fear" a torn ACL for RB Lamar Miller, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. That doesn't come as a surprise if you've seen video of the injury. We'll look for confirmation of the torn ACL, but we've already removed Miller from the RB rankings. His absence leaves Houston with RBs Duke Johnson, Damarea Crockett, Karan Higdon and Taiwan Jones. Johnson is clearly the top talent here. And while he's never handled a true lead role at the NFL level, he goes 5'9, 210 pounds and averaged 18.6 carries per game in his final college season at Miami. We'll look for clues about the Texans' backfield plans. But if they're willing to give Miller 12 to 15 carries per game -- on top of the pass-catching work -- he'll boast top-15 fantasy upside.

Texans RB Lamar Miller left Saturday night's game on a cart after suffering a nasty-looking injury to his left knee. We'll await official word, but you should avoid Miller if you're drafting tonight. Duke Johnson, on the other hand, suddenly looks like a strong option in the middle of the single-digit rounds. We'll pass along updates as soon as we get them.

Texans RB Duke Johnson won't play in his new team's 2nd preseason game, according to insider Aaron Wilson. Johnson is still dealing with the hamstring injury that had him sidelined at Browns camp. We haven't heard a target date for his return, but he needs the practice reps with his new offense.

Browns RB Duke Johnson missed Saturday's practice with a right hamstring injury. "We don't know the specifics," HC Freddie Kitchens told the Akron Beacon Journal. "We are going to see how it progresses. Duke is a quick healer, but we want to be cautious. We have to make sure the guy is healthy and that it is not something that lingers." RB Kareem Hunt has also sat out camp practices to this point with a groin injury.

The Browns used the 35th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft on Georgia RB Nick Chubb. Chubb busted out as a true freshman back in 2014, racking up 1,547 yards and 14 TDs on 7.1 yards per carry. His 2015 was cut short in October by a catastrophic left knee injury: a torn PCL, MCL and LCL, plus cartilage damage and a dislocation. Chubb returned for 2016 but didn’t look like the same player, posting a career-low 5.0 yards per carry. He bounced back nicely this past year, carrying 223 times for 1,345 yards (6.0 YPC) and 15 TDs. Chubb proved that the knee injury is behind him by registering an 83rd percentile SPARQ score at the Combine. When healthy, this guy is as good a runner as any RB in the class. He’s mostly unproven in the passing game, though, totaling just 31 catches across 4 college seasons. Chubb won’t be doing much pass-catching in Cleveland with Duke Johnson in the same backfield. But the rookie has a good shot to beat out Carlos Hyde for lead ball-carrying duties. That’ll be a situation to monitor throughout the summer.

The Browns have traded RB Terrance West to the Titans for a conditional 2016 pick, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.  Cleveland selected West in the 3rd round last year, but poor practice habits landed him on the chopping block.  He heads from 1 crowded RB corps to another -- and Tennessee's offensive line isn't nearly as talented as Cleveland's.  It's a hit to West's fantasy outlook, along with Bishop Sankey and David Cobb's.  Meanwhile, Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson's stocks are on the rise.  Crowell is locked in as the lead (and potential 3-down) back to open the season.  Johnson will step in as the #2 as soon as he's cleared from his concussion.  The rookie's role could grow if Crowell continues to underwhelm.

Update: Cobb has been placed on IR designated for return with his calf injury.  It knocks the rookie out for at least the first 8 games of the season.  He's not worth rostering in redraft leagues.  West will be Tennessee's #2 RB to open the season.

Browns RB Duke Johnson suffered a concussion in Saturday night's preseason game. He finished with 1 carry for 4 yards and 1 catch for 1 yard.  Johnson was making his debut after missing most of the summer with a hamstring injury.  All the missed time will make the rookie impossible to trust in fantasy lineups early this season.  He's still capable of carving out a significant role later in the year, though.

Browns RB Isaiah Crowell got the start in Thursday night's preseason opener.  He carried 3 times for 5 yards on the 1st-team offense's lone drive.  RB Terrance West got 1 carry on that series.  Both guys also saw action with the 2nd team and neither finished with impressive numbers.  Crowell is currently the favorite for lead-back duties in Cleveland, but the competition remains open.  It'll get more muddled when rookie RB Duke Johnson returns from his hamstring injury.

Browns RB Terrance West (calf) returned to practice on Saturday.  He ended up missing 6 days with the minor injury.  RB Duke Johnson (hamstring) remains sidelined, so West and RB Isaiah Crowell will dominate 1st-team reps for the time being.  West reportedly showed up to camp overweight and has drawn the ire of the coaching staff for his practice habits, but last year's 3rd-rounder is still in the mix for a significant role.

Browns RB Duke Johnson (hamstring) will be out "a little while," HC Mike Pettine said. It sounds like the rookie is dealing with something a bit more serious than a minor, "day-to-day" hamstring injury.  We'll see when he's able to get back on the field, but the missed time won't help Johnson's push for a significant early-season role.  He remains overvalued at his 7th-round ADP.

Browns RBs Duke Johnson and Terrance West both left the field with injuries Saturday. Cleveland.com reports that Johnson suffered a hamstring injury in team drills. "I'll be all right," Johnson said. "I've experienced much worse. I just felt something in my hamstring, stopped for precautionary reasons. We're going to take a look at it today." West then suffered a calf injury shortly thereafter. "I'm good," he said on his way into the facility. "About to get it checked on now. I'll be back tomorrow. I'll be back." If each issue proves as minor as the player seems to think, then neither should see an impact in fantasy football drafts. We'll see how quickly they can return.

The Browns added RB Duke Johnson to their backfield in the 3rd round.  The Miami product is a smallish 5'9 and 207 pounds and dealt with injuries over his final 2 college seasons.  But he's lightning quick and 1 of the best pass-catching backs in this class, racking up 38 catches, 421 yards and 3 TDs this past season.  Johnson joins Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West in a crowded Browns backfield.  The rookie is most likely to serve as a change-of-pace back at least for 2015.


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