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Miami Dolphins Player Profile: Duke Johnson

Miami Dolphins Duke Johnson

The Dolphins’ rushing attack in 2022 was horrid. Furthermore, Miami was ranked 29th in rushing offense. The Dolphins averaged just 92 yards a game. Myles Gaskin got a lot of praise at the start of the season but underperformed this year. He could not find any holes at the line of scrimmage and just had trouble finding running room. However, the Dolphins had one of the worst offensive lines in the league, so it is not all on Gaskin. Miami ended up getting their spark later in the year as the Dolphins signed Duke Johnson. He ended up being their workhorse and made the Miami running attack decent. Therefore, it is time to look at Duke Johnson and analyze if the Dolphins should re-sign him or let him go.

Johnson’s career thus far

Johnson has spent seven years in the NFL. He spent four years with the Browns and two years with the Texans before going to Miami. Johnson does not really have eye-popping stats when you look at him on paper. He usually racks up around 200 to 400 hundred yards each season depending on how many carries he gets and if he is healthy.

Miami Dolphins Duke Johnson

Photo courtesy of Bill Ingram/ The Palm Beach Post/ USA Today

Johnson has also has not been a starting running back for a full season.  His best year statistically came in 2017 with the Browns. He had 348 yards rushing yards and four touchdowns during that season. That year was not his best year in yardage. He racked up 410 yards with the Texans in 2019. This was solid considering he only started two games that year.

His season with Miami in 2021

As said in the opening, Johnson sparked this team in 2021 with his rushing abilities. He started four games with the Dolphins this year. He had 330 yards and three touchdowns. Johnson is a smaller running back, but his strength makes him hard to bring down and tackle. He is great at getting yards after first contact.  He also has a lot of speed if he gets in the open field.


Johnson was a workhorse for Miami at the end of the year. In his last game of the year against New England, Johnson had 25 carries and rushed for over 100 yards. He would end up rushing for 100 yards twice in the five games he played in. To compare, Gaskin played in most of Miami’s games and did not have a single 100 yard rushing day. Honestly, if it was not for Johnson stepping up, the Dolphins could have lost a couple more games.

Should the Dolphins re-sign Johnson?

Johnson signed a one-year contract with the Dolphins earlier in 2021, which means he will be a free agent again soon. Miami needs to do everything possible to keep Johnson. His services will not be as expensive as some of the other running backs that are hitting free agency. He also has the talent to maybe be the Dolphins started running back at the beginning of the 2022 NFL season. This all depends on the Dolphins’ new head coach Mike Daniel, who has had success in leading teams to great rushing seasons.

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