A legend was born at the 2008 NFL Combine when a product from East Carolina University ran the fastest 40 time in the history of the combine. Chris Johnson, a running back from Orlando, became a first round draft pick, and in his just second year in the league, he became the sixth man to rush for 2,000 yards. His career, as well as the Tennessee Titans franchise was looking up. But just as his peak of performance was reached, a long road down a rough path of unfortunate events has led to the fall of “CJ2K.”
In the years following his record breaking season, tough times sought Johnson. His yardage steadily declined, and he went from one of the most sought after running backs in the NFL, to a backup for a failed New York Jets organization in 2014. Just a month after he was released by the Jets at the end of their 2014 season, Johnson would never forget. Shot in a drive by shooting in his hometown of Orlando, losing a friend in the shooting, and possibly kissing away his NFL career forever, Johnson was in a tough state.
Determination, and a will to go on was what propelled Johnson over the top and overcome insurmountable odds. With a reminder of the incident still logged in his shoulder, he was signed as a backup for one year by the Arizona Cardinals during the preseason of the 2015 season. He quickly earned the starting role and in no time showed what “CJ2K” was all about. Rushing for 100-yards in four games, and projected his best season since his 2,000-yard campaign, Johnson once again hit a wall.
The week 12 game against the 49ers gave Johnson resulted in a career ending fractured tibia in his leg. This most likely delivered an epic blow to the end of a career of one of the most prolific running backs in a generation. Johnson has shown to come back from tough odds before, but most likely this is the final blow for the legend of “CJ2K.”