Cardinals Lose Ryan Williams For Season
According to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, Arizona Cardinals running back Ryan Williams has been lost for the season. The injury occurred in the 4th quarter when Williams was hit by Rams safety Darian Stewart. This injury will be another devastating blow to the second year running back after he missed all of 2011 with a torn patellar tendon.
The Cardinals running backs have been decimated by injuries so far in 2012, as Beanie Wells will miss most of the season with a severe turf toe and third down back LaRod Stephens-Howling has missed the last two games with a hip flexor. The Cardinals are only averaging 63.4 yards per game rushing, which is good for second worst in the entire league.
Arizona needs to find some sort of running attack to take the pressure off Kevin Kolb, as he was sacked nine times in the loss to the Rams (as well as 8 times against the Dolphins) and has been pressured heavily all year. With an inefficient running game, opposing defenses have focused their attention on putting pressure on Kolb. Due to poor run-blocking and shaky pass protection, the Cardinals have not gained 300 yards in total offense in any game this season.
Most of the blame has to be placed on the offensive line. Losing veteran Levi Brown at left tackle was a huge loss early in the year, while D’Anthony Batiste has been a huge disappointment as his replacement in his first season as an NFL starter. Right tackle Bobby Massie is an unproven rookie, who also needs to improve.
The Cardinals are going to have to throw the ball to compete for a playoff spot this year. Kevin Kolb has a lack of weapons at his disposal. Larry Fitzgerald is an elite NFL receiver. Andre Roberts is young, but had a huge game against the Dolphins. Early Doucet is an average receiver. Michael Floyd had been a disappointment in his rookie year. Todd Heap at tight end will hopefully be a reliable target when he returns from injury. Collectively, the passing weapons haven’t wowed anyone so far in 2012.
An interesting matchup this week for the Cardinals. The Bills defense is horrible. The Bills defense is the first in 62 years to have consecutive games in which they gave up at least 550 yards. I would start Larry Fitzgerald this week and Kevin Kolb should have a good game this week (barring a John Skelton return). Todd Heap is also a possibility at Tight End if he is healthy on Sunday. In lieu of Williams’ injury, fantasy owners can try adding William Powell, who should be in line to start as early as week six. LaRod Stephens-Howling and Alfonso Smith could also vie for some carries, while the team could add a free agent to beef up the position. The Cardinals have a great chance to be 5-1 against this pathetic defense.