Chris Johnson received a vote of confidence Monday from Mike Munchak, as the Titans head coach confirmed that Johnson will remain the team's starting running back despite being outperformed by his backup Javon Ringer the previous day against the Colts. But even if there's not an official change of roles, Ringer will continue to see action as the game dictates.
"There's no rhyme or reason to it right now. If there was, I'd let you know," Munchak said, according to the Associated Press. "We're just trying to get something fixed that hasn't been as productive as we'd like, and we're not doing anything different .... We don't feel any different about Chris Johnson. All of the above. Nothing's changing. Our philosophy hasn't changed."
Both Johnson and Ringer tallied 14 carries on Sunday, but Johnson managed just 24 yards (2.4 per carry) while Ringer gained 60 (4.3). Ringer also hauled in a team-high five catches for 42 yards. Johnson had three catches for 17 yards.
For the moment, Ringer is saying all the right things.
"I know that right now C.J. is our guy," Ringer said Sunday after the game. "C.J. was blessed to do tremendous things his first couple of years here. He has earned everything that he has right now. Right now he is the guy. I am the No. 2 guy. I know my role."
Johnson led the NFL in rushing the previous three seasons, but ever since he missed all of training camp while holding out for a $53.5 million extension, he's gained just 307 yards on 107 carries (2.8 ypc) in the first seven games. He's gained more than 53 yards in a game only once. Ringer, meanwhile, has gained 122 yards on 35 carries (3.5 ypc). Sunday's game was his first this season with more than six carries.