Jason Whitlock, of The Kansas City Star, reports Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson (ankle) is expected to miss at least a week with an ankle injury. Johnson is expected to be replaced by running back Priest Holmes. Head coach Herman Edwards said Johnson was unable to put weight on the ankle after the injury.
Johnson had struggled early in the season but had been getting on track recently. He rushed for more than 100 yards three times over the past five games but was shut down by Jacksonville Jaguars, rushing for only 12 yards in the game. Prior to the injury, Johnson rushed for 53 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown Week 9 against the Green Bay Packers. For the season, he has rushed for 559 yards and three touchdowns. He also has 186 receiving yards and one touchdown.
From a fantasy perspective, it is not known how long - or if - Johnson will be out, so owners will have to monitor the situation. His replacements will be Holmes and running back Kolby Smith, who will likely split carries. Holmes is just coming from a two-year hiatus due to head and neck injuries. He has only carried the ball seven times for 17 yards in the two games he has played. Smith has not carried the ball yet in the regular season but did get some work in the preseason when Johnson held out. He has 21 receiving yards this season.
One possible replacement for Johnson is Oakland Raiders running back Justin Fargas. Reports say he is expected to start for the rest of the season. Fargas has rushed for 437 yards and one touchdown this year, in limited work.
A long-term option for owners to consider if available is Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Michael Pittman (ankle). The Buccaneers may go back to the running back-by-committee philosophy they used before Pittman's injury. The team is on a Bye this week, so he is not a one-week option if Johnson is not seriously hurt.
About Tim Piotrowski
Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.
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