Jan 3, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans running back David Johnson (31) runs with the ball as Tennessee Titans linebacker David Long (51) attempts to make a tackle during the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Texans keep RB David Johnson on restructured deal

The Houston Texans and David Johnson have agreed on a restructured one-year deal that allows the team to keep the running back for 2021, ESPN and NFL Network reported Tuesday.

Johnson agreed to a paycut. He now gets a guaranteed $4.25 million and could earn up to $6 million with incentives, per the reports. He was set to make $7.95 million in 2021.

Johnson rushed for 691 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games (all starts) for Houston last season after the Texans infamously traded away star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for him in March 2020. Johnson also caught 33 passes for 314 yards and two TDs.

Johnson missed three games with a concussion and one while on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Johnson was All-Pro and a Pro Bowl selection in 2016 with the Cardinals when he had 2,118 yards from scrimmage and 20 total touchdowns.

The Texans released running back Duke Johnson last week.

–Field Level Media

Oct 4, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans running back David Johnson (31) runs the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Texans activate RB Johnson, lose two starters on D

The Houston Texans activated running back David Johnson from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday.

He landed on the list last Friday and missed Sunday’s 36-7 loss at Chicago.

Johnson, who also missed three games in November due to a concussion, leads the Texans with 452 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He also has 16 catches for 161 yards and one score in nine games.

Houston (4-9) also placed two defensive starters on season-ending injured reserve ahead of Sunday’s game at Indianapolis (9-4).

Defensive tackle Brandon Dunn (pelvic fracture) and safety Justin Reid (torn thumb ligament) had both started all 13 games before getting hurt in the loss to the Bears.

Dunn, 28, contributed 26 tackles, three quarterback hits and one fumble recovery this season.

Reid, 23, had surgery on Tuesday. The 2018 third-round pick had 83 tackles, four passes defensed and two sacks.

–Field Level Media

Dec 6, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans running back David Johnson (31) celebrates with running back Duke Johnson (25) after scoring  a touchdown during the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Texans RB David Johnson placed on COVID list

Running back David Johnson was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the Houston Texans on Friday.

Johnson will not travel with the team to Chicago, but Houston expects Duke Johnson — who missed practice Thursday due to illness — to be ready after he was able to participate in Friday’s workout.

David Johnson was listed as out Thursday for “non-injury reasons” and the Texans updated his status Friday afternoon. Head coach Romeo Crennel hinted David Johnson would miss the trip due to “personal reasons.”

Healed from a concussion, David Johnson returned from injured reserve last week to play against the Indianapolis Colts. He leads the team in rushing with 113 carries for 452 yards and four touchdowns.

Duke Johnson has 69 carries for 209 yards and one touchdown this season.

Also, tight end Pharaoh Brown will miss the game after suffering a concussion against the Colts. He has seven receptions for 75 yards in 10 games.

–Field Level Media

Oct 4, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans running back David Johnson (31) reacts after fumbling the ball against the Minnesota Vikings on a play during the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Texans activate RB David Johnson (concussion) from IR

The Houston Texans activated running back David Johnson from injured reserve, the team announced Saturday.

Johnson has been sidelined since sustaining a concussion following a hit from linebacker Myles Jack in the Texans’ 27-25 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Nov. 8.

In eight games this season, Johnson leads the Texans in carries (103), rushing yards (408) and rushing touchdowns (three).

Johnson, 28, also has caught 16 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown.

Running back Duke Johnson has rushed for 106 yards on 33 carries in his absence. He also has six receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown in that span.

Houston also activated linebacker Kyle Emanuel from injured reserve on Saturday. Emanuel, 29, has three tackles in three games this season with the Texans and Las Vegas Raiders.

Also on Saturday, Houston elevated wide receivers Chad Hansen and Steven Mitchell Jr. from the practice squad to the active roster and placed fullback Cullen Gillaspia on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

–Field Level Media

Oct 4, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans running back David Johnson (31) runs the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Texans place RB David Johnson (concussion) on IR

The Houston Texans placed leading rusher David Johnson on injured reserve as he continues to recover from a concussion sustained last weekend in a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The injury occurred when he was hit on a third-and-3 play with 9:58 left in the first quarter. A pass from Deshaun Watson intended for Johnson fell incomplete and he was slow to get to his feet.

In eight games this season, Johnson leads the Texans with 408 yards rushing, and he’s added three scores. Watson is second in rushing with 197 yards.

Johnson, 28, also has caught 16 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown.

Duke Johnson is expected to start at running back when the Texans (2-6) meet the Browns (5-3) in Cleveland.

In other transactions, the Texans moved inside linebacker Dylan Cole, who has a back injury, to injured reserve and signed running back C.J. Prosise from the practice squad to the active roster.

They also activated safety A.J. Moore Jr. from reserve/injured and elevated linebacker Nate Hall (COVID-19 replacement), defensive tackle Corey Liuget and offensive lineman Greg Mancz from the practice squad.

Players on injured reserve must sit out at least three weeks.

–Field Level Media

Nov 8, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Houston Texans running back David Johnson (31) runs between Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Jarrod Wilson (26) and outside linebacker Myles Jack (44) during the first quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Texans RB David Johnson (concussion) out vs. Jaguars

Houston Texans running back David Johnson will sit out the remainder of Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars after sustaining a concussion.

The injury occurred when he was hit on a third-and-3 play with 9:58 left in the first quarter. A pass from Deshaun Watson intended for Johnson fell incomplete and he was slow to get to his feet.

Johnson’s injury was one of four for the Texans in the first half.

Outside linebacker Brennan Scarlett (arm) and guard Senio Kelemete (concussion) also were ruled out for the rest of the game. Defensive end Charles Omenihu (leg) was questionable to return.

Entering the contest between the two 1-6 teams, the 28-year-old Johnson led the Texans with 392 rushing yards and three touchdowns in seven games.

Duke Johnson replaced him as the primary ball carrier.

–Field Level Media

Five Players in the NFC West Who Play Esports

Richard Sherman – CB San Francisco 49ers
An avid Call of Duty player, Sherman attended the Call of Duty World Championships in 2016. He had plans to attend the DOTA 2 International – boasting the highest prize pool in esports at over 24 million in 2018 – and teased the possibility of investing in esports in the future.
In an interview with ESPN’s Jacob Wolf, Sherman said “We’re competitors in every aspect of our lives and we’re always looking for another opportunity to compete, I think [Call of Duty] gives everybody a chance to be good at it.”
It’s that competitive nature that makes so many football players’ gamers and vice-versa, so many gamers football fans.
With Sherman’s move from Seattle to San Francisco, the key piece of the Legion of Boom will be in Silicon Valley – one of North America’s esports hubs.
In that same interview, Sherman said he might be interested in investing in esports one day.
“[Esports] has grown so rapidly over the last couple years, I think everyone is starting to [take] notice and pay attention,” he says. “These guys are out here competing for $2 million [at the Call of Duty World Championships]. That’s real money. That’s as real as it gets. I’m looking forward to seeing how that industry grows and maybe, maybe getting more involved.”
One organization he could consider investing in is NRG Esports. Sacramento Kings co-owners Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov founded the team based out of San Francisco in December of 2015. They have a slew of name-brand athlete investors already. Shaq, Alex Rodriquez, Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Howard, and Marshawn Lynch – just to name a few.
Sherman is fully focused on recovering from his Achilles tear and transitioning to a new team. As his recovery progresses and he becomes settled in the bay, look for him to make more appearances in the esports world.
Todd Gurley – RB Los Angeles Rams
Gurley runs through opposing defenses like a freight train and plays Call of Duty the same way.
“I’m aggressive, I don’t really care if I get killed… If I get killed 50 times so be it as long as I get to kill as many people as I can,” Gurley told GamerHub TV at the release party for Black Ops 4 the latest iteration of one of the longest running game series ever.
On professional gamers: “Those guys are beasts out there, I did a thing with Matt Forte and we had like two or three kills and those guys had 15, 20, 30 kills. Those guys are beasts, I totally respect what they do.”

“We had a Rams Call of Duty group chat my rookie year, it’s crazy popular in the league. It’s a game that’s been around for so long that we were all playing that in college and in high school,” Gurley said in the video.
While Gurley is an avid COD player, one of his primary blockers has taken a love for the game to a whole new level.
Rodger Saffold – G Los Angeles Rams
Saffold was one of the first NFL players to make a big push into the esports industry. In fact, he was one of the first traditional sports athletes across all sports to get in. In 2014 he helped to found Rise Nation, an esports organization competing in Call of Duty. Now he serves as CEO and under him, Rise has become one of the dominant teams in COD.
2018 has been good to Rise as the team went 13-1 in the first stage of the CWL Pro League before going undefeated in CWL Atlanta Open to establish themselves as one of the top teams in North America this season.
“When I started figuring out that esports was growing, and I saw they were all over the internet on Twitch — when I saw that there were these huge events — I was like, ‘OK, I need to get into this,” Saffold told ESPN’s Imad Khan in 2016.
In the locker room, his teammates are curious and Saffold does what he can to introduce them to esports.
“I always get questions like ‘Hey, how is our team doing?’ [and] like ‘Hey, what’s going on, what’s going down this weekend?'” he said in the ESPN interview.
Saffold started Rise Nation when the team was still in St. Louis. The move to Los Angeles was positive for his – and Stan Kroenke’s – esports business. LA is the home of major game developers Riot and Blizzard and the site of tournaments year round. His fellow Ram teammates – and now the Chargers as well – have all the opportunity in the world to be involved in esports, with Saffold as a model, that floodgate could open soon.
David Johnson – RB Arizona Cardinals
In addition to being a star running back and top fantasy pick, Johnson is also a huge fan of Call of Duty.
(I promise there are more esports than just COD, it just happens to be the favorite of many NFL players, along with Fortnite.)
There is no doubt that the man was gaming while he recovered from his injury last year. Especially now that he received a custom, portable Xbox system from fellow gamer and ex-NFL player Hank Baskett.
Baskett was at one point named a co-owner of Denial Esports but that company folded because of a history of not paying it’s employees. That’s all happened prior to Baskett’s involvement, he was just caught up in the cross-fire.


Bobby Wagner and Earl Thomas – LB/S Seattle Seahawks
Wagner and Thomas both attended PAX in 2015, one of the largest gaming conventions in the world. While there they played a couple of games of Madden (Thomas won both by a small margin, 10-7, 7-0) and talked Destiny and Madden ratings with GeekWire reporter Taylor Soper.
“I think I’m a 99,” said Thomas who was rated 95 in that year’s game.
He also wanted to be clear on his geekiness, “I don’t think I’m a geek, I think I’m Earl Thomas.”
Wagner said he had a unique motivation – staying on top of the familial food chain. “I like to play with my nephews a bunch and I need to make sure I stay up with these games so they never beat me,” he told Soper.
Between Wagner, Sherman and Thomas, there were definitely some heated games of Madden in the Seahawks locker room. With 14 Pro Bowl appearances between the three defensive stars, I imagine the games were pretty low scoring.