Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 10/24/11
Something is amiss in the Titans' running game. And while 53 million man Chris Johnson says he isn't the problem, after another lackluster performance, the whispers are beginning to get louder. Johnson had just 18 yards on 10 carries in Sunday's embarrassing 41-7 loss to the Texans. Sourced indicated to TitanInsider.com that Johnson might not have been in peak condition when he reported to camp. Johnson had a lengthy holdout that lasted all through training camp and the preseason. The entire offseason was wiped out by the lockout, and then when Johnson missed even more time, it may have put him even further behind most other NFL players. Johnson made an appearance at Cortland Finnegan's informal workouts at a local high school this summer, but that was it except for whatever work he did on his own. Johnson said after Sunday's game that he did not believe his conditioning was an issue. "I feel like I've been back," Johnson said. "I feel like my conditioning and me missing camp, I can't say that's the problem with the running game." However, those across the field Sunday on the winning Houston sideline, most notably running back Arian Foster, who had 115 yards rushing and 119 receiving, said Johnson's conditioning is a factor. "He's going through a lot of what I went through, except that I did have some football before," said Foster, who missed time due to a hamstring injury. "It's tough, and he's getting a lot of criticism right now. When you don't go through a training camp, you can run all day, but football shape is football shape, and it takes awhile. "It wouldn't surprise me if he bounces back the rest of the season." On one occasion Sunday, Johnson caught a pass, and Houston linebacker Brian Cushing grabbed him by the leg in the open field and took him down. In years past, that sort of open-field tackle was rarely made on Johnson one-on-one. "I don't know whether it is a change in the offensive coordinator, missing camp or whatever," Cushing said. "I just think he hasn't gotten in his groove yet. You look at the way he runs and the capabilities he has and his speed. He is one of those guys who is a home run hitter. If you hit him early, I think it kind of deters him a little bit." Johnson's teammates still believe that the running game woes are team-related and not entirely on one player. "I don't think it has anything to do with him," guard Jake Scott said. "The passing game is not that great either. We're getting the quarterback hit some, more than we should. We're not executing as a whole. Obviously, he's a part of it because he's a part of the offense, but it's not a singular thing." Johnson's final word: "I won't say I'm the issue. I'm very confident that I've been doing the things that I've been having to do. It's a situation where I continue to say that I can't do anything but keep running hard and working hard and doing what I can for the this team."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jeffrey Loria says ‘no sadness’ about selling Marlins

NFLPA head says Roger Goodell ‘lied’ about drafting new personal conduct policy

Phillip Dorsett reportedly on trading block

Jeanie Buss compares Lonzo Ball to Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant

Veteran Giants OL Michael Bowie charged for assaulting girlfriend

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Greek federation blames Bucks for Giannis Antetokounmpo’s EuroBasket absence

Buccaneers-Jaguars game drew ridiculously awful ratings

Report: Cam Newton to see increase in workload next week

Desperate Seahawks must trade for left tackle to save season

Akron stores selling LeBron James 'stay home' apparel

James Harden: Chris Paul ‘didn’t seem happy’ at start of offseason

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

Best of Yardbarker: NFL goes in on Ezekiel Elliott, NFLPA

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

Box Score 8/18: Reds and Cubs claw through a 23-run game

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NFL shifts blame for Zeke suspension to police and NFLPA

Box Score 8/17: Interleague games bring the fireworks

The 'Forget Calvin, bring back Jerry' quiz

The top 20 left-handed pitchers of all-time

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Echoes of Charlottesville ripple across the sports world

BIG3 Playoff Preview: Can anyone stop Trilogy?

The 'Bye bye to the Beast Incarnate?' quiz

Why the SEC is not the best football conference anymore

The 'M! E! S! S! Mess! Mess! Mess!' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Giancarlo Stanton won't stop hitting homers

NFL shifts blame for Zeke suspension to police and NFLPA

The 'Forget Calvin, bring back Jerry' quiz

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Charles Oakley slams the phone — and his opponents — down

The '27 up, 27 down' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker