The Tennessee Titans will likely use Chris Johnson for his full complement of work this Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.
Asked how soon Johnson, who held out of all of preseason in a contract dispute, would be ready to handle a full workload, Coach Mike Munchak indicated it could be this week.
“The answer is I’m hoping this week. There is no reason that he shouldn’t be ready to help up win this weekend.,” Munchak said.
In terms how much a full load might be, Munchak said “about 20,” carries per game.
“I think that one year we overdid it where we ran him hard the last couple of years, and we have to be careful of that to keep him fresh throughout the year,” Munchak said. “If you have something going on he is going to carry the ball and I think most teams do the same thing. You are going to want a guy that can make a play at any time to touch it as much as you can, but you just don’t want to have a lot of useless carries. In that 18 to 20 to 25 touches including maybe some passes.”
Johnson was far below that Sunday as he finished with 24 yards rushing on nine carries, far short of what Munchak had hoped to get the running back who ended his holdout at the end of preseason.
“I was hoping that just in this game alone he would get 15 to 18 carries, that’s what I was thinking about going back to how he did his rookie year when he was sharing reps,” Munchak said. “I thought that would have been a chance to be very productive. We didn’t get that done this week, we got him nine carries. Going into the Raven game, there is no reason he shouldn’t be back to where he needs to be this weekend.”
The Titans running game was stifled as they managed just 43 yards as a team on Sunday in Jacksonville. Tennessee has another tall order going against the Ravens defense that forced seven turnovers in a 35-7 victory over Pittsburgh.