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Rudi Johnson, Change-of-Pace Back?


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Given how weird the season is going, why not?

Rudi struggled to run the ball through the first three games: 58 carries, 177 yards (3.1 yard average) and 0 TDs.

Kenny Watson didn't get a carry until the fourth quarter of the Seahawks game. Between that and the Pats game, he has 22 carries for 115 yards (5.2 average) and a TD.

Now, here's the twist: Watson, normally considered the receiving back, has just 4 catches for 10 yards (2.5 average) and no TDs.

Rudi, meanwhile, has 8 grabs for 92 yards (11.5 average) and 1 TD.

To understand how unusual that is, note that 1 TD was Rudi's first ever receiving TD. And that his previous season high receiving yards was 146 in 2003. His 92 yards this year are already his third-highest career total. And his so-far receiving average is better than Watson's career best 9.3 and career average 7.7 (and Watson usually catches only about 25 balls a year).

So...assuming Rudi is healthy for the Chiefs game...why rush him back into the starting role? While his weight loss and focus on catching haven't seemed to do anything for his running game (except possibly in a negative sense) they have appeared to pay off in better hands. Why not keep Kenny as starter and use Rudi as the change of pace guy? Or at the very least go with more of a two-back rotation?

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