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All-Pro running back David Johnson retires from NFL after 8 seasons

Running back David Johnson during NFL Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville^ Florida USA November 8 2020

All-Pro running back David Johnson announced his retirement after eight NFL seasons on Sunday via Instagram.

Johnson wrote in his post: “Who would have thought this kid would be the first pro athlete to come out of small town Clinton, IA. Chasing a dream when all but 2 D1AA college coaches thought I was good enough for a scholarship. I am blessed and very appreciative of the Cardinals drafting me in the 3rd round 🙏🏾 and I started my NFL career hitting the ground running (literally)! 2 games in, getting my uniform and cleats put in the Pro football Hall of Fame in Canton. There’s been highs and lows, but I’ve felt very fortunate and honored by the people who’ve supported me along this journey. The relationships and brotherhoods I’ve formed with so many of my dawgs will never be forgotten. I’m going to miss the locker room, dining hall, and before meeting vibes. Guys from different backgrounds, ethnicities, struggles, and countries just talking about all aspects of life………..and of course joking around. When it’s all said and done, I really hope I impacted at least 1 person on and off the field in a positive way. I hope I was able to pay it forward, from the countless people who guided and taught me the right way to go about business, and giving back with integrity and a humble demeanor! And to the numerous coaches who sharpened my skills in playing this sport. I am forever grateful of you, truly! Lastly, I would not have been able to do any of this without Gods good grace! He did it all so a kid who didn’t have much, was given a chance to do what most can’t. I’m looking forward to my next career path in life. I don’t know exactly what that will be, but I hope it will bring me the same passion, excitement, and love as football did! 🙌🏾🙏🏾✌🏾

Johnson, who last played in a regular-season game in 2022 for the New Orleans Saints, amassed 6,876 yards from scrimmage and 58 touchdowns in eight seasons. He was drafted in the third round (No. 86 overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft by then-Cardinals general manager Steve Keim; and two games into his pro career, Johnson’s jersey and cleats were sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, after he became the first player in NFL history to score a rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown and kickoff return touchdown within the first two games of a career.

Johnson played five seasons in Arizona before he was traded to the Houston Texans as part of the DeAndre Hopkins trade in 2020, where he remained for two seasons before appearing in five games for the Saints in 2022. He finishes his career with 4,071 yards rushing and 2,805 yards receiving — of his 58 touchdowns, 39 came rushing, 18 receiving and one on a kickoff return. He had 33 rushing touchdowns with the Cardinals, tied for third in franchise history.

Editorial credit: April Visuals /

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