Titans' Johnson: Future sort of out of his hands

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 26, 2013 at 4:33 pm •  Published: December 26, 2013
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Chris Johnson needs only 50 yards to reach 1,000 yards for a sixth straight season, which would put the Titans running back in exclusive company.

He wants that milestone Sunday in what might be his last game in a Tennessee uniform because of his very pricey contract and declining production.

Johnson is due $8 million in 2014, part of $29 million due over the next three seasons. Yet Johnson needs what would be his second-best performance this season when he plays Houston to avoid the worst rushing year of his career. The running back said Thursday he hasn't thought about whether Sunday will be his final game with the Titans.

"It's sort of something out of my hands, nothing I can really do about that," Johnson said. "But you know at the end of the day I've had a great time here, and I appreciate all they have done for me. At the end of the day, it's nothing that I'm really thinking about, just trying to get a victory on Sunday."

Johnson later told The Tennessean he won't consider a pay cut. Speaking to other reporters, Johnson said he loves Tennessee and thinks it would be sad if he's playing elsewhere next season.

"From being in this league so long I have come to understand it's a business side of this ..." Johnson said. "I don't think I'll be out of work long."

Johnson currently has 950 yards rushing with a 3.8-yard per carry average that also is the lowest of his career. With 50 yards against the Texans, he would become only the sixth running back in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first six seasons joining Barry Sanders, Curtis Martin, LaDanian Tomlinson, Eric Dickerson and Corey Dillon.

A dip in some of Johnson's numbers was expected because the Titans signed Shonn Greene to split the work. Johnson said the run game struggled early with mental mistakes with the Titans abandoned the run in other games.

Johnson has topped 100 yards only once this season with 150 yards Nov. 3 in a win at St. Louis, and he ran for 90 yards in last week's win at Jacksonville with Greene running for 91. Johnson said the coaches stuck to the game plan, and it worked. He does have four touchdown receptions, a career-best.

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