David Johnson is back and Charles Leno Jersey , he says, better than ever.
The Arizona Cardinals running back, an All-Pro in 2016, missed last season after dislocating his left wrist in the season opener. The wrist is healed and he is a full participant in the team’s weight and conditioning program that began this week.
”I’m very motivated,” he said Thursday. ”It’s not really about (showing) the people out there, it’s really about myself and coming back for the team, for my teammates, for the coaches. Everything being so new, it’s really about coming back and bouncing back and being able to play the sport.”
By new, Johnson means the coaching staff. Bruce Arians, who utilized Johnson almost as much as a receiver as a ball carrier, has retired. New coach Steve Wilks brought in Mike McCoy as offensive coordinator. McCoy has talked about designing an offense around the ability of the players.
And that would mean a lot of David Johnson.
Drafted in the third round out of Northern Iowa in 2015, Johnson’s multiple abilities as a runner and a receiver were on full display his second season under Arians’ wide-open system.
Johnson led the league in yards from scrimmage and touchdowns in 2016, setting an NFL record by topping 100 yards from scrimmage in each of his first 15 games. He probably would have made it 16 had he not injured a knee in the season finale against the Los Angeles Rams.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound back rushed for 1,239 yards that season and caught 80 passes for 879 yards. The performance earned him All-Pro honors at the flex position.
Because it was his wrist that was hurt in the opener at Detroit Bruce Ellington Jersey , Johnson could still run and do other workouts designed for him by strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris, who was retained by the new staff. Johnson said he probably is in the best shape of his life.
”We seen David all of last year, seeing him work out, running the field. We thought he could play every Sunday,” teammate Patrick Peterson said. ”He’s always looking good. That guy’s a freak of nature. I know he can’t wait to get back on the field.”
Getting Johnson in the weight room is no problem. Getting him not to overdo it is a challenge.
”He’s a freak,” Morris said. ”I will never, ever take credit for anything David Johnson (does). I have to protect David from David to be honest with you, because he always wants to load the bar with more and more and more weight.”
Johnson said he does that sometimes just to see Morris’ reaction.
”I’ve always been a hard lifter in the weight room, ever since high school,” Johnson said. ”Buddy yesterday was telling me not to put so much on the squat rack, but sometimes I’m hard at listening to what he is saying. I know he has my best interest, but sometimes I feel like I need to put more weight on, and I like to get under his skin a little bit because it rattles him and he starts using these huge words that no one understands.”
Being hurt, Johnson said, was ”a blessing in disguise” because he’s been able to spend so much time with his young son. There was no father in the picture when Johnson was growing up.
”That I didn’t have a father figure in my life, it really pushed me to do everything I can for him Mike Ditka Jersey ,” he said, ”be at every milestone, be there for anything that’s going on in his life. I’ve seen the little things, like his teeth growing, him walking, crawling, his laughing, just being there for every little thing that happens in his life. `’
BOSTON — The Boston Celtics host the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday night in a regular-season finale that won’t affect the postseason.
But while the Celtics go through the motions on Fan Appreciation Night, they will have a collective eye trained on the out-of-town scoreboard.
They are waiting to see who they will play in the first round of the playoffs that begin this weekend.
Tuesday night, second-seeded Boston had a chance to bury the Washington Wizards in the eighth spot in the final standings, leaving Washington in a first-round matchup with the top-seeded Toronto Raptors.
But the Celtics were thumped 113-101 by the Wizards, a team that played half the season without an injured John Wall and one you might want to avoid in the playoffs — with Wall rounding into shape. With the win, the Wizards, who engaged in a mean-spirited seven-game series against the Celtics last year, remained in a three-team scramble with the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat.
Through Tuesday, the Bucks were in sixth place Tyquan Lewis Jersey , a game ahead of the Heat and Wizards — the Heat holding the 7-8 tiebreaker with Washington.
The Bucks will try to end the Philadelphia 76ers’ 15-game winning streak in Philadelphia (where the Sixers can clinch the third seed) Wednesday, thus finishing sixth — and also avoiding surrendering their No. 1 draft choice to the Phoenix Suns by finishing seventh or eighth.
Miami hosts Toronto in yet another potential first-round matchup and while the Raptors have clinched first in the East, they are in a close battle with the Golden State Warriors, second in the West, for home-court advantage in a potential final.
The Wizards, 3-1 against Boston this season, are at the out-of-the-money Orlando Magic Wednesday night for the back end of a back-to-back.
In one scenario, if the Sixers win their 16th straight win, Washington and Toronto win on Wednesday night, the Celtics face No. 7 Milwaukee, which loses its draft pick.
Yes, it’s complicated.
Before Tuesday’s game, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, “(The last-minute seeding) is no more than of a stress on our staff than the staff we’re playing against. At the end of the day, we’ll work and be ready to play Saturday or Sunday, whenever we play.”
Regardless of who they play J.J. Watt Jersey , the Celtics, who have lost four of their last five, will be without Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Daniel Theis, although they did get some good news Monday on Marcus Smart.
The energetic Smart, who had surgery to repair a tear in his right thumb, is on target for a six-week return, which would be later this month. But he still won’t be around in the opening round — the loss of Irving and Smart putting more of a burden on Terry Rozier, who has slumped and also suffered from an ankle injury in the last four weeks.
The Celtics are 3-0 against Brooklyn this season, but the three wins have been by a total of 12 points — and Irving was the leading scorer in each of the three games.
The Nets have won three straight — their first three-game winning streak of the season — and are 7-5 in their last 12 after losing 18 of 21.
“Things are maybe turning that corner that we wanted to get a little early in the season, but it’s better late than never,” Allen Crabbe said after his career-high 41 points led his team to a 114-105 win over the Chicago Bulls Monday night.
Boston is 7-0 against Brooklyn over the last two seasons.
Collin Sexton Jersey ,