TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals will be without running back Chris Johnson and safety Tyvon Branch for at least eight weeks as both players were placed on injured reserve on Tuesday.
NFL rules allow for one player to be eligible to return to the active roster eight weeks after his injured reserve designation, so one of the two could return in early December while the other will miss the rest of the season.
Johnson and Branch are both dealing with groin injuries suffered during Sunday’s 17-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
The Cardinals lose their top backup running back in Johnson, who has 95 rushing yards and a touchdown this season. Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor are the other two backs.
On Tuesday, Arizona re-signed running back Kerwynn Williams, who was released before the season began.
Williams played in 11 games combined in 2014 and 2015 for the Cardinals, rushing for 388 yards and a touchdown.
Branch, who started three games and was tied for second on the team with 22 tackles, signed a two-year contract in free agency in March after playing for Kansas City and Oakland.
The Cardinals, off to a 1-3 start amid lofty expectations to be Super Bowl contenders, had a busy day of roster moves just two days from a Thursday night game at San Francisco.
Punter Drew Butler, who suffered a calf injury at Buffalo in Week 3, was waived with an injury settlement on Tuesday. The team added punter Ryan Quigley.
Quarterback Zac Dysert and wide receiver Brittan Golden were promoted from the practice squad to the active roster. Dysert is in place as a backup for Drew Stanton if Carson Palmer can’t play because of a concussion.