Ron Johnson
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Former New York Giants running back Ron Johnson passed away on Saturday at the age of 71 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Sad news coming from the New York Giants organization as per Richard Goldstein of the New York Times, former running back Ron Johnson passed away on Saturday.

At the age of 71, Johnson had been battling Alzheimer’s Disease since 2008. He passed away in Madison, NJ.

Johnson was an All-American back at Michigan and an All-Pro in the NFL. However, he’s most known for being the Giants first ever 1000-yard rusher. He achieved the feat in 1970, rushing for 1,027 yards with eight touchdowns along with having 1,514 total yards from scrimmage that season. This, therefore, earned him All-Pro honors, as he was also selected to the Pro Bowl that year as well.

Johnson only spent seven years in the NFL, one of which he missed the majority of due to injury (1972). He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1969 and was traded a year later to New York. Johnson was then a member of Big Blue from 1970-75 before eventually retiring.

Throughout his career, he racked up 4208 yards and 40 touchdowns on the ground. He was also very reliable through the air as well, with 213 career receptions for 1977 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Johnson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1992. Along with names such as Tiki Barber, Rodney Hampton, Joe Morris, and Frank Gifford, Johnson was all-in-all a Giants legend at the halfback position.

Although playing at a time where the Giants organization were an abysmal below-average team, he’ll go down as one of the greatest Big Blue running backs of all time. His death is obviously a sad and tragic one, as he was arguably the first multi-talented backs the Giants had in the history of their franchise.

He will be greatly missed by not only Giants fans, but NFL fans all-throughout.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.