Chris Johnson played most of 2013 with a torn meniscus

1/27/14 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

For what seems like the hundredth season in a row, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson was a disappointment yet again in 2013. He did manage to put together his sixth consecutive thousand-yard rushing season, but barely so with just 1,077 yards. His 3.9 yards per carry mark was a career low, and Johnson failed to make the Pro Bowl for the third straight year.

Blog Photo - Chris Johnson played most of 2013 with torn meniscusWith a revamped offensive line that was bolstered by the acquisitions of free agent Adam Levitre and rookie Chance Warmack, there was hope that Johnson would revert to his 2009 All-Pro form with some new maulers in the trenches, but that was not the case. According to Pro Football Focus, the Titans' run blocking was the best it's been since 2009, so simple logic would lead you to believe that Johnson would have bounced back with another monster year.

While that did not happen, it may not have been entirely Johnson's fault. According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Johnson tore his meniscus back in Week 3 and gutted it out the entire rest of the season. The news makes it much more reasonable that Johnson went through a horrendous slump from weeks 4-7, during which he averaged an abysmal 27.5 rushing yards per game on 2.4 per carry. Johnson picked it up after the Titans' Week 8 bye, as he probably took advantage of that time to get his knee in better shape. Johnson averaged 79.0 yards on 4.3 per carry over his final nine games.

The injury is also a testament to Johnson's strikingly impressive durability. At just 5'11'' and 191 pounds, one would think that Johnson would be eaten alive by massive NFL defenders. However, the 28-year-old has missed just one game in his six-year NFL career - that missed game came way back in 2008, Johnson's rookie year.

Johnson will undergo surgery on Tuesday and has been given a 4-6 week recovery timetable. Likely to be near full health towards the beginning of March, Johnson will be able to take physicals for prospective new teams, as the Titans are fully expected to release him around that time. Despite the injury slowing his production, Johnson is simply not worth the huge deal that he got on the heels of his third consecutive (and most recent) Pro Bowl campaign, which came back in 2010.
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