After Week 1 of the NFL preseason, teams start calling free agents to plug injury holes

Among those getting a call is running back Chris Johnson, who will visit the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday to undergo a physical.

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A person with knowledge of the situation says running back Chris Johnson will visit the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday to undergo a physical.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the visit has not been publicly acknowledged by those involved.

Johnson, who turns 30 next month, rushed for a career-low 663 yards with the New York Jets last season after gaining at least 1,000 in each of his six seasons with the Tennessee Titans.

Arizona running back Andre Ellington has been slowed by a hamstring problem in training camp but returned to full practice on Friday. But rookie David Johnson, a third-round draft pick out of Northern Iowa, has not practiced since the second day of camp, also because of a hamstring problem.

Another Cardinals back, Marion Grice, also is sidelined with a hamstring injury. That left Stepfan Taylor and Kerwynn Williams as the only healthy Arizona backs through most of camp.

Chris Johnson’s visit to Arizona first was reported by Fox Sports.

The Cardinals had the worst running game in the NFL last season with an average of 3.29 yards per carry. By contrast, Johnson averaged 4.3 yards per carry with the Jets last season.

In a move to improve the dismal ground game in the offseason, Arizona signed free agent left guard Mike Iupati, considered to be one of the best run-blocking guards in the game.

On March 8, Chris Johnson was wounded in the shoulder when someone opened fire on the vehicle in which he was riding in Orlando, Florida. The driver was killed.

In Chicago, rookie wide receiver Kevin White needs surgery for a leg stress fracture and will miss at least half of the regular season.

Bears general manager Ryan Pace says the first-round draft pick will have surgery on his shin and spend at least eight games on the physically unable to perform list.

White had leg pain during organized team activities in June and hasn’t practiced in training camp. He tried to run for the first time on the side of the practice field last week, but experienced more pain.

The Bears also are without starting receiver Alshon Jeffery because of a calf strain.

Chicago signed receiver Jeremy Kelley to a one-year contract and waived linebacker DeDe Lattimore. Kelley entered the NFL in 2013 as an undrafted free agent with the Indianapolis Colts.

At Jacksonville, the Jaguars continue to have to deal with injuries.

The latest to fall is tight end Julius Thomas, who likely will miss the rest of the preseason with a broken right hand.

Coach Gus Bradley said Thomas has a “stable fracture” in the back of his hand.

The team initially reported Thomas injured his left hand, but Saturday morning said it was left.

“The good news is it’s quick-healing,” Bradley said after a 23-21 win over the Steelers. “The tough thing is he’s going to be out probably the rest of the preseason. Hopefully, if everything works out right, he’ll be back ready for the first game.”

Thomas sustained the injury when Steelers cornerback William Gay tackled him on a 2-yard gain in the first quarter. It came on Jacksonville’s second play of the preseason and Thomas’ first game with the Jaguars since signing a five-year, $46 million contract that included $24 million guaranteed.

Thomas headed to the locker room for tests and did not return.

His injury left the Jaguars without their top two draft picks and top two free-agent acquisitions. First-round defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (knee) is out for the season. Second-round running back T.J. Yeldon (hand) and free-agent defensive end Jared Odrick (knee) missed Saturday’s game, but should return next week.

Rams guard Rodger Saffold left on the opening drive of their game against the Oakland Raiders holding his right arm and did not return. Linebacker Daren Bates left with an undisclosed injury in the second quarter. St Louis coach Jeff Fisher had no updates on their conditions.

On the Oakland sideline, Raiders held out with injuries were receiver Rod Streater, linebacker Sio Moore, running backs Roy Helu Jr and Jamize Olawale, and tight end Lee Smith.

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