Buffalo Bills reportedly sign running back Duke Johnson to a one-year deal

Duke Johnson, Miami Dolphins (Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke Johnson, Miami Dolphins (Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports) /

Last week, the Buffalo Bills attempted to sign J.D. McKissic to be the receiving running back in this offense to compliment Devin Singletary. The pairing made a lot of sense and would have helped Josh Allen and the passing game as a quick outlet.

However, McKissic decided to return to his former team, the Washington Commanders, and the Buffalo Bills were forced to go back to the drawing board. They have seemingly found their answer as it was reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Buffalo would be signing running back Duke Johnson to a one-year deal.

Duke Johnson brings a different dynamic to the Buffalo Bills offense than J.D. McKissic

There is no question that Duke Johnson at one time was an excellent pass-catching running back. In his first three years in the league with the Cleveland Browns, Johnson averaged 63 receptions, 580 receiving yards per season with five receiving touchdowns during that time.

This part of his game has not gone away but the chances to be a receiver out of the backfield has diminished over the years as he has had stops with the Houston Texans and recently the Miami Dolphins.

While Duke Johnson can be the primary receiving running back, he is a bigger running back who can run the ball and even be that primary ball carrier. In the final four regular season games last year with Miami, Johnson averaged over 16 carries per game and had two games where he ran for over 100 rushing yards.

This is something that J.D. McKissic has not done in his career and has never had a game with more than 13 carries and only has three career games with double digit carries.

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The addition of Duke Johnson is certainly interesting as Buffalo likely will look to him to handle most of the receiving duties, as this is something he can do, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they also give him opportunities to run the ball.