D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Fri 12/17/21 7:01 PM

Johnson and the Browns will no longer play the Raiders on Saturday, after the NFL officially rescheduled the matchup between the two teams for Monday at 5 p.m. ET.
EDGE Analysis
Due to ongoing COVID-19-related issues within the Cleveland organization, the NFL is hopeful that by delaying the game two days, the Browns will restore enough players from the reserve/COVID-19 list to alleviate depth concerns on the roster. Since Kareem Hunt isn't in line to play Week 15 after failing to practice this week due to an ankle injury before being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday, Johnson has a clear path to the No. 2 role out of the backfield behind starter Nick Chubb.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Thu 12/16/21 4:10 PM

Johnson is expected to serve as the top backup to starting running back Nick Chubb with Kareem Hunt (ankle) ruled out for Saturday's game against the Raiders, Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
EDGE Analysis
Johnson had moved down to the third spot on the depth chart for the Browns' past two games following Hunt's return from injured reserve, but the former should have a clear path to the No. 2 role after the latter picked up another injury in Cleveland's Week 14 win over Baltimore. Chubb is still likely to see the majority of the snaps and touches out of the backfield, but Johnson and Hunt still managed to earn six carries and three receptions between them last week. A touch count in the high single digits or low double digits could be enough to keep Johnson on the radar in deeper PPR leagues this week.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Mon 12/13/21 6:56 AM

Johnson had four carries for 22 yards and caught his lone target for seven yards in Sunday's 24-22 win over the Ravens.
EDGE Analysis
Johnson did not play on offense when the Browns and Ravens hooked up in Week 12 due to the availability of both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. However, Hunt sustained an ankle injury Sunday and was limited to 13 snaps, paving the way for Johnson to have a role. More will be known about Hunt's status heading into a Week 15 road game against Las Vegas after the running back undergoes testing Monday. If Hunt's unable to go, Johnson will slot in as the backup to Chubb.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Mon 11/29/21 6:05 AM

Johnson played six offensive snaps and did not receive a touch or target in Sunday's 16-10 loss to the Ravens.
EDGE Analysis
This was the first game in five weeks in which the Browns had both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt (leg) available, which put a limit on Johnson's playing time. Hunt injured his leg late and was removed from the game, which could impact Johnson's role going forward; however, Cleveland is on its bye Week 13. The next game is Week 14, a return matchup at home against the Ravens.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Sun 11/21/21 7:18 PM

Johnson recorded five carries for 26 yards in Sunday's 13-10 win over Detroit.
EDGE Analysis
Despite topping 150 total yards in Week 10, Johnson took a back seat in the game plan due to the return of Nick Chubb (illness). Johnson has now seen single-digit touches in every game that Chubb has been active. Johnson's role is likely to only diminish further once Kareem Hunt (calf) is able to return from injured reserve.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Fri 11/19/21 1:21 PM

Johnson is expected to move into the No. 2 role out of the Cleveland backfield Sunday against the Lions after Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski confirmed that Nick Chubb (illness) is good to go after practicing Friday in his return from the reserve/COVID-19 list, Zac Jackson of The Athletic reports.
EDGE Analysis
After Chubb was placed on the list Nov. 9 following a positive test of the virus, Johnson stepped in to pick up his second start of the season Week 10 against New England. Though the Browns weren't competitive in a 45-7 loss, Johnson was productive with his opportunities, carrying 19 times for 99 yards and catching seven passes for 58 yards on eight targets. While Johnson has been a revelation in both of his starts, a healthy Chubb remains the Browns' unquestioned lead back, though Cleveland could be inclined to ease him back from a one-game absence with a slightly lighter workload than normal against an inferior Lions team. If that's the case, Johnson could still have some value this week as a low-end flex play in deeper leagues while Kareem Hunt (calf) remains on injured reserve.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Sun 11/14/21 4:28 PM

Johnson ran for 99 yards on 19 carries while catching seven passes for 58 yards on eight targets against New England on Sunday.
EDGE Analysis
The Browns weren't very threatening in the 45-7 loss and the point gap might have led New England to play less aggressively on defense, but this is still an impressive showing for the undrafted Johnson, who has thrived in both of his spot starts this year. Johnson is expected to head back to a reserve role against the Lions in Week 11, but by now he's given convincing reason to believe he'll play well whenever he gets an extended opportunity.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Fri 11/12/21 2:55 PM

Johnson is expected to be the Browns' No. 1 running back Sunday at New England with Nick Chubb (illness), Demetric Felton (illness) and John Kelly (illness) all on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
EDGE Analysis
Coach Kevin Stefanski noted the trio of Chubb, Felton and Kelly will be unable to clear COVID-19 protocols in time to be available for Sunday's 1:00 p.m. ET kickoff, leaving Johnson as the sole healthy running back on the active roster. On top of that, Kareem Hunt (calf) isn't ready to return from injured reserve, so Johnson likely will have to contend with only elevated options from the practice squad such as Brian Hill and Dexter Williams. When Johnson served as Cleveland's lead runner Week 7, he churned out 168 yards from scrimmage and one TD on 24 touches.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Wed 11/10/21 3:12 PM

Johnson will make another start in the event teammate Nick Chubb (illness) isn't reinstated from the reserve/COVID-19 list before Sunday's game in New England, Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports.
EDGE Analysis
Johnson's previous start, Week 7 against Denver, yielded 22 carries for 146 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 22 yards on 69 percent snap share, while backups Demetric Felton and John Kelly combined for just four carries and three targets. A full repeat is a lot to ask in New England, but it is a safe guess that Johnson will have a busy afternoon if Chubb doesn't end up playing. In order to suit up, Chubb needs to return negative tests on back-to-back days, after initially testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday morning.

D'Ernest Johnson
RB CLE (9)
Sun 11/7/21 9:57 PM

Johnson had eight carries for 16 yards in Sunday's 41-16 win over the Bengals.
EDGE Analysis
Nick Chubb had the bulk of the carries early before Johnson took over as Cleveland pulled away. It was the first time in three weeks that Johnson did not score a touchdown. He continues to fill the backup role while Kareem Hunt (calf) is sidelined on injured reserve. Hunt's three-week minimum stay on IR ended Sunday, but the Browns feel he'll need at least one more week before he's ready to play.