D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Mon 1/9/23 10:42 PM

Johnson played 10 snaps on special teams and did not play on offense in Sunday's 28-14 loss to Pittsburgh in Week 18.
EDGE Analysis
Johnson finished the year with just seven touches -- four rushes and three receptions -- and heads quietly into the offseason. It was a different tale last season, after Johnson capably filled in for injured backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, rushing 100 times for 534 yards and three touchdowns. There's very little mileage on Johnson, who turns 27 in February. The Browns are expected to go with Jerome Ford as the top backup to Chubb, and Johnson likely feels ready for a bigger role than he had in 2022. Both he and Kareem Hunt are in the final year of their deals and will entertain offers from other teams.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Mon 12/5/22 8:08 AM

Johnson played 15 snaps on special teams and none on offense in Sunday's 27-14 win over Houston.
EDGE Analysis
It's not surprising to see Johnson used on special teams only, but it was interesting that Jerome Ford got his first snaps and touches on offense. If an injury to Nick Chubb or Kareem Hunt should occur in the final weeks of the regular season, it's not a given that Johnson would get first crack at replacing either back in the rotation.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Mon 11/21/22 8:34 AM

Johnson did not play on offense during Sunday's 31-23 loss to Buffalo.
EDGE Analysis
Johnson's usage as a running back has decreased significantly, as both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt have stayed healthy. He popped for 534 yards (5.3 YPC) when given an opportunity in 2021, but those that speculated on him in 2022 have been disappointed.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Mon 11/14/22 8:34 AM

Johnson caught his lone target for minus-2 yards and did not carry the ball in Sunday's 39-17 loss to the Dolphins in Week 10.
EDGE Analysis
Johnson was on the field for a season-high 12 snaps, but opportunities for the running game dwindled once the Browns fell behind by three scores early in the third quarter. He'll remain outside of fantasy consideration as long as Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt stay healthy.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Tue 11/1/22 8:51 AM

Johnson had four carries for 17 yards in Monday's 32-13 win over Cincinnati in Week 8.
EDGE Analysis
Johnson was given his first rushing attempts of the season, all on the game's final drive as Cleveland iced the blowout win. The Browns snapped a four-game losing streak and resuscitated their season with the victory, which may have the organization thinking about improvements for a playoff run. That means either Johnson or Kareem Hunt, both in the final year of their contracts, could be moved by Tuesday's 4:00 pm ET trade deadline. If either of those events happen, Johnson's fantasy outlook should improve.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Thu 10/27/22 7:49 AM

Johnson's role with the Browns could change as rumors pick up about the team trading Kareem Hunt before next Tuesday's 4:00 pm trade dealine, Chris Easterling of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
EDGE Analysis
The report doesn't get into specific trade partners interested in Hunt, but Cleveland is reportedly seeking a fourth-round draft pick as a starting point for discussions. Both Johnson and Hunt are on expiring contracts, making each of them a possible trade piece. Hunt's role has dwindled the last two weeks -- he has a total of 10 touches Weeks 6 and 7 after averaging more than 11 per game over the first five weeks. If the Browns trade Hunt, Johnson would move up to second on the depth chart. If Johnson is traded, the team trading for him presumably would have a bigger role waiting for him. Per usual, Johnson is listed as third at running back on the Browns' unofficial depth chart and as the primary kickoff returner for Monday night's game against the Bengals.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Sun 10/16/22 9:57 PM

Johnson caught two of two targets for nine yards in Sunday's 38-15 loss to the Patriots in Week 6.
EDGE Analysis
Johnson had his most significant contributions, but he remains a fringe player on offense. As long as Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are healthy, Johnson will play a limited role.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Wed 10/12/22 8:09 AM

Johnson played 15 snaps on special teams in the Browns' 30-28 loss to the Chargers in Week 5.
EDGE Analysis
The Browns have kept Johnson under wraps the first five games of the season, making him inactive the first three weeks and limiting him mostly to special-teams work in Weeks 4 and 5. He hasn't been deployed as a return man on special teams either, despite Jerome Ford (ankle) being added to injured reserve. Cleveland's backfield duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt have been dominant through five games, so Johnson has no clear path to playing on offense at this time.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Tue 10/4/22 9:49 PM

Johnson played one snap on offense and 17 snaps on special teams in Sunday's 23-20 loss to the Falcons in Week 4.
EDGE Analysis
Johnson, who was inactive the first two weeks, saw his first action on offense in Week 4. He also helped replace the injured Jerome Ford (ankle) on kickoff returns. With Ford hitting injured reserve Tuesday, the Browns listed Johnson as Ford's replacement on the team's unofficial depth chart for Week 5 against the Chargers.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Fri 9/23/22 8:33 AM

Johnson played 15 special-teams snaps and did not line up on offense in Thursday's 29-17 win over the Steelers in Week 3.
EDGE Analysis
Johnson was active for the first time this season, as Demetric Felton was given the night off. The former has experience as a returner, but the Browns did not have him return once, choosing to use Chester Rogers on punts and Jerome Ford or David Bell on kickoffs. It's possible the Browns don't want to expose Johnson to injury as a returner so that he can be used as a trade chip later in the season.