Arizona’s Ryan Williams Already Running and Cutting
Ryan Williams was expected to give Chris “Beanie” Wells a run for his money in the Arizona Cardinals‘ back-field in 2011. Instead, he spent the entire season on the sidelines.
It wasn’t because the rookie couldn’t hang. Coming into the 2011 preseason, his impressive blend of speed and power had him slowly climbing past Wells on the depth chart. Unfortunately, a torn patella tendon against the Green BayPackers took that opportunity from him.
Now he’s getting it back.
According to azcardinals.com, Williams is well on his way to getting back to 100%, and is now eight full months removed from an injury that typically takes 9-12 months to fully recover from.
“I still have time,” Williams said. “I am running and cutting and doing things I didn’t think I’d be doing this early. I’m not worried about it.”
Williams and last year’s starter Wells are both rehabbing injuries, and looking ahead to 2012. If both are healthy, Wells will continue as the lead back, while Williams will finally show the Cardinals and fans alike that he can be the back-field mate everyone hoped he would be in 2011.
The fact that he’s making cuts is remarkable, and very encouraging. Williams at even 80% would still be a very good backup to Wells, and if he can get close to 100%, he’d arguably be the better and more complete back in Arizona.
I was extremely high on Williams going into last year, and thought he’d have a great chance at unseating Wells for the starting job. Unfortunately, he was knocked out of the season early and will have to prove he’s healthy just to touch the ball in 2012. However, I’d keep an eye on him throughout the off-season. If he’s healthy and Wells goes down, he could be a guy to watch. At the very least, if you’re thinking about drafting Wells, be sure to add Williams, as well.