Ryan Williams NFL Stats
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Ryan Williams NFL Game Log
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(Compared to other RBs)
Free Agent Team Injury Report
After spending all of 2014 on the Cowboys' practice squad, Williams ended up being placed on IR by the team in July. A second-round pick of the Cardinals in 2011, Williams has never been healthy enough to live up to his draft status and hasn't seen a carry in a regular season game since 2012, when he rushed for 164 yards on 58 attempts (2.8 YPC) and caught seven passes for 44 yards. If Williams still retains the vision, burst and patience he showed in college he could carve out a depth role in an NFL backfield this season.
Knee and shoulder injuries limited Williams to just five games and 164 yards rushing two years ago as a rookie, and he didn't see any game action at all in 2013. He'll try to kickstart his career in 2014, provided the injuries haven't sapped the speed and elusiveness Williams flashed in college.
A ruptured patella tendon cost Williams his rookie season in 2011, and a shoulder injury limited him to just five games last year. When he did see the field, the 5-9, 207-pound Williams was mostly awful, with a woeful 2.8 YPC average and two fumbles on 58 rushes. Beanie Wells is no longer around, but new coach Bruce Arians has brought in veteran Rashard Mendenhall – with whom he has ties from his days as Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator – and drafted Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington. Arians' lack of investment in the talented but fragile 2011-second-round pick might spell doom for Williams in Arizona.
An early selection in the second round of the 2011 draft, Williams suffered a season-ending knee injury in training camp. It wasn't your garden variety ACL either, as he tore his patellar tendon, resulting in his kneecap ending up in his thigh with damage to his meniscus as well. The Cardinals didn't sign or draft a running back in the offseason, so they must feel reasonably comfortable with Williams' recovery, especially with Beanie Wells being so injury prone. Arizona went 7-2 over the final nine games last year and added Michael Floyd alongside Larry Fitzgerald, so if Kevin Kolb can make the leap, there's potential for this offense. But Williams enters 2012 firmly behind Wells on the depth chart, and at press time, the Cardinals medical staff reportedly believed Week 3, rather than the start of the season, was a more realistic timetable for Williams' return.
The Cardinals selected Williams early in the second round of the draft, ignoring many other seemingly more pressing needs. The team claims it had Williams rated as the No. 15 player on their board, and the value was too good to pass up, but it also clearly sends a message to incumbent Chris Wells, who had an injury-marred and disappointing second season. After rushing for 1,655 yards with 21 touchdowns in 2009, Williams ran for only 477 yards and nine scores last year, as he became a part of a rotation. He possesses plus vision with strong instincts and hands, but it remains to be seen if he’s more the back who looked like a future star as a Virginia Tech freshman, or the one who disappointed last year. Don’t be surprised if the pick motivates Wells, who shouldn’t be written off yet if he can stay healthy. The coaching staff likely wants Williams to win the job, so he’s the safer choice, but ultimately this probably ends up as a committee.