During the play, Johnson’s knee bent backwards in gruesome fashion as Rams defensive end Eugene Sims turned his body to make a tackle.
UPDATE: The initial prognosis, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, is damage to his meniscus, and his ACL is intact.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said in a press conference after the game that surprisingly, the injury is “nothing serious.”
On Monday, Cardinals fans breathed a sigh of a relief, as an MRI revealed the injury is a sprained MCL and no surgery is needed.
Johnson was looked at the sideline by team trainers before a cart came to get him and take him to the locker room. Prior to the injury, he had five carries for six yards in the game against the Rams and three catches for 38 yards.
After being looked at for an initial diagnosis by team trainers in the locker room, Johnson returned to the Cardinals’ sideline and appeared in good spirits.
Fellow players from the NFL chimed in with warm wishes that the incident isn’t too serious.
The second-year running back was having a magnificent season prior to the injury. He carried the ball 288 times for 1,233 yards and 16 touchdowns. The versatile, speedy Johnson also caught 77 passes for 841 yards and four touchdowns. On Dec. 18, Johnson surpassed Edgerrin Jame to become the first player in NFL history with 100 or more total yards from scrimmage in the first 14 games of the season.
Those stats came after a rookie season where Johnson became a household name. He averaged 4.6 yards per carry in 2015, carrying the ball 125 times for 581 yards and eight touchdowns.
Johnson was drafted 86th overall in the 2015 NFL by the Cardinals. He attended Northern Iowa University where he amassed eye-popping stats over his four seasons in the backfield. He rushed 866 times at NIU for 4,682 yards and 49 touchdowns, averaging 5.4 yards per carry.