Since Ryan Williams tore his patellar tendon back in 2011, he hasn’t been the running back the Arizona Cardinals thought they were getting when they spent a second-round pick on the Virginia Tech alum.
Even though it’s only been two years, the Cardinals would be smart to sever ties with Williams, who simply isn’t worth the roster spot at this point in his short NFL career.
For the first two weeks of the 2013 campaign, Williams has been a “healthy” scratch on game day. While this may be due in part to lingering issues with his troublesome knee, it’s hard to ignore the fact that he fell from No. 2 to No. 5 on the depth chart in about a month.
As of right now, Williams is behind Rashard Mendenhall, Andre Ellington, Alfonso Smith and Stepfan Taylor on the Cardinals’ running back depth chart. Prior to the preseason, Williams was behind only Mendenhall. But after missing two preseason bouts, the former second-rounder has quickly become a non-factor for the Arizona offense.
There’s no need to have five running backs on one 53-man roster.
Even when he has been a part of the game plan, Williams has made a minimal impact. In the five games he was active last season, Williams managed 164 yards on 58 carries (2.8 yards per carry) while losing two fumbles. According to Pro Football Focus, he had mustered a whopping -3.1 overall rating before a shoulder injury brought his sophomore campaign to a close.
It seems as if Arizona is holding onto Williams in hopes that their 2011 second-round pick won’t completely go to waste. Unfortunately, it appears to be a lost cause at this point. The Cardinals were even rumored to be shopping Williams near the end of the preseason hoping to get some sort of value for him, but obviously weren’t able to find any suitors.
I admit that I was fan of Williams leading up to the draft, and I understand why the Cardinals are being patient. At some point, though, you have to come to terms with the fact that the injury-prone back isn’t going to pan out.
It’s time for the Cardinals to stop wasting a roster spot and let Williams go.