Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A two-time graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
Johnson to make first NFL start
Houston Texans running backs Deji Karim, left, talk Dennis Johnson before an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
FAYETTEVILLE Former Arkansas running back Dennis Johnson is slated to make his first NFL start this weekend.
Johnson, an undrafted rookie free agent who signed with Houston in October, will start the Texans' game against Denver on Sunday in place of Ben Tate, who is out with a rib injury.
“He has some talent,” left tackle Duane Brown told the Houston Chronicle. “He has a low center of gravity. He runs very hard. He plays with a lot of intensity.
“In our scheme, he makes that one cut, and he’s going downhill. I think he’s really going to help us.”
Johnson has rushed for 154 yards on 37 carries this season for the Texans, who own the NFL's longest losing streak of 12 games. In a game last week against the Colts, Johnson rushed 4 times for 12 yards and added 108 yards on kickoff returns.