Sidelined Ryan Williams knows he’ll need “big plays”

Posted by Darren Urban on August 19, 2013 – 12:27 pm

The Cardinals are getting healthier, although the main subject for Bruce Arians once again as his team starts a new week was the status of running back Ryan WIlliams. It’s only Monday, but already Arians said Williams “probably” will not play against the Chargers Saturday because of the knee. Answers are few and far between, but Arians was asked about Williams anyway.

About evaluating WIlliams, Arians said, “He needs to start playing. Can’t evaluate him unless you play.” Arians isn’t sure yet what it means for Williams’ chances at a roster spot, and there is still an opportunity for Williams to “play a bunch” against Denver in the preseason finale. That would mean Williams would actually have to come back first though.

“You can’t get these reps back,” Arians said. “He had an excellent OTAs, started with an excellent camp, running and cutting. Then just put the brakes on. You can’t get this back.” Asked if he thought it was more mental than physical with Williams, Arians said “I can’t answer that. He’s the only one who can answer that.”

UPDATE: Williams said it’s still the irritation under the “fatty pad” in his knee causing him sharp pain. He said he doesn’t even call it an injury. He also wasn’t willing to say he was nervous about his spot on the roster, mostly because he figures worrying about it wouldn’t help.

“I wouldn’t say nervous about my spot, I just don’t like taking time off,” Williams said. “But things like this happen. There was nothing more I could have done to prevent this from happening. I really not nervous, because I feel when I go out there, I’ll be able to erase the time that I’ve missed.”

Would there be enough time to convince the organization to keep him if he didn’t return until next week? “I don’t know,” Williams said. “We’ll have to see. I’d have to make a lot of big plays to erase the time that I’ve missed. I really don’t worry about things like that, because whatever is going to happen is going to happen.”

Williams added he was “pretty sure” the coaches are frustrated because he is too.

“I wouldn’t doubt that they were,” Williams said. “Can I sense it? No. If they are they are doing a good (job) of hiding it. I’m pretty sure they are, but it’s not to the point where they are mad at me. They are more mad at the situation like I am.”

— The good news is that Arians expects a handful of players to return to practice today. He didn’t name any particulars other than cornerback Javier Arenas, although he said last week he thought LB Karlos Dansby would be back on the field today. Those players may still be limited, but they will have a chance to play Saturday. TE Jeff King (knee) and WR Jarrett Dillard (concussion) remain out, although Arians said he thought King could play against San Diego.

— Backup tackles Nate Potter and Bobby Massie got extended playing time against the Cowboys because they needed extra work, Arians said, and he added he liked they way they played. They will get less work this week as the starters go longer, and while Arians said the depth chart at the position has not changed he still sees a competition not only between Massie/Eric Winston and Potter/Levi Brown but also at right guard between Daryn Colledge and Paul Fanaika.

— Colledge will get some snaps as center this week. Colledge said he has never played center in a game, but with only seven linemen that dress Sundays, having Colledge be proficient at the skill would mean the Cards wouldn’t need a specific backup center active on game days.

— Arians has mentioned a couple of times that Kerry Taylor dropped a touchdown pass against Dallas, as he did with tight end D.C. Jefferson in the first preseason game. In both cases, it looked like the pass from QB Drew Stanton was slightly off-target and would have made a grab difficult. Arians was asked if he ever thought about giving his receivers more slack. “No,” he deadpanned, before a smile crept over his face. “This is the NFL. When you get both hands on the ball, you’ve got to catch it.”

— The play of QB Carson Palmer was “average,” Arians said. “He’d probably say he was terrible,” Arians said. “He knows he can play better.”

— In the department of Ryan Lindley seems to have a good shot to stick, Arians said the third QB has done “extremely well” and his decision-making in games has been good. Lindley will get extensive time in the fourth preseason game, which will be important in his evaluation.

— Arians, asked to assess the camp of kicker Jay Feely, paused before calling it “solid.” But he said he made it clear to Feely missing a 30-yard field goal was unacceptable.

— Colledge, whose fractured leg was revealed last week by General Manager Steve Keim, said he was shaking off the rust. “A lesser man would have quit football,” Colledge quipped. As for the talk of the injury being a nerve problem and not a broken leg, Colledge said “What we tell people and what needs to be said are two different things.”

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29 Responses to “Sidelined Ryan Williams knows he’ll need “big plays””

  1. By JosEPh on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    This Williams thing can only last so long……time is running away with Ryan’s future here.

  2. By Mike G on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope all is well! I have a feeling Arians will give Williams every opportunity to make the team and I hope he does get a roster spot. He certainly has to play some in the preseason. I think he will sink or swim depending on the
    last exhibition game against Denver. If he does not play some in that last game–I think he will be cut. You can’t go into the regular season with a player that is injured,gun-shy or just lacking in confidence. I don’t know if Ryan feels he can take hits on that knee. Darren–Do you think Ryans’ issues are more mental than physical??????? I know the kids been through a lot.

  3. By Darren Urban on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: Williams

    No way to know. Can’t be inside his head.

  4. By sbrown on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    if Williams can not get on the field, BA will have no choice that to let him go. No way the Cards keep five RB’s, they will need the roster spot for their 6/7 WR or a 5/6 TE or even a 9/10 DB.

  5. By Debeezy on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    @Mike G – Come on, man. If you had read the whole article, even BA said only Ryan knows that.

  6. By Scott H on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    I think anyone who has his / her hopes up for Williams making a contribution this year is wasting their time. There is just nothing to justify that. It ain’t like when he HAS played, he looked like Arian Foster, ya know? But at this point, I see him as the RB version of Kevin Kolb. Maybe he could be a good player, maybe not, maybe he’s just plain average. But when he can’t stay health for any length of time, how do you know AND DOES IT REALLY MATTER?

    We better hope Mendenhall is REALLY back and up to a full workload. And we better hope one of these rookies behind him is ready to contribute as well.

  7. By C on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    Ellington has the exact same skillset, and might be better overall than Williams *right now*. While I feel for the guy, making last year’s 2nd round pick an early cut in camp would certainly go a long way in setting a precedent that in BA’s camp, you work as hard as you can or you find somewhere else to play.

  8. By Frank on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Steve Breaston was just cut by the Saints. Let’s try to pick him up and give Fitz some help with a proven wide reciever.

  9. By stevenanimator on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    I think it’s very telling what Arians said about Williams not being able to get all the positive work he was able to put into the OTA’s. If he’s not even able to workout with the team at this point, I see him getting cut.

  10. By rdixon50 on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    Has anyone asked Ryan what the problem is = why he thinks his knee is not ready?

  11. By Mike G on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Thanks for the update on Ryan Williams. That is good information that you added to the piece. Looks like he still has pain–hope it subsides for him soon–i’m rooting for the kid. Good job getting that info–Darren–Well Done!!!!

  12. By wilyb on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    We’re talking about a 2nd round pick in Ryan Williams. The last thing the Cards want to do is let him go and have him succeed elsewhere. I think he will get every chance to play.

  13. By johnnybluenose on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    i know this blog is about the cardinals but, just in case anyone is remotely interested, former cardinal max hall made his first start in the canadian football league on friday for the winnipeg blue bombers. he competed 18 of 30 passes for 241 yards with one td pass and two ints. the bombers lost 37-18 to the hamilton tigercats. hall had been the 3rd string qb and started due to injuries to the guys ahead of him…not unlike his time with the cardinals a few years ago.

  14. By freddy on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    what does he mean by this is football that’s soccer??

  15. By Steve on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    Darren: Do you plan to do an article later on in the week about Ken Whisenhunt making his return to UOP stadium? I am curious to see how he is received by the Cards players, specifically Darnell Docket who probably is happy that Whis is gone!

  16. By Darren Urban on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Whisenhunt

    I’ll mention it in the blog but I don’t see a whole story.

  17. By credit card on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    The Ryan Williams drama gives the appearance that he wants to be cut in order to get a fresh start with another team. He may of thought he was going to be the featured back this year, then along came Mendenhall, Taylor, and Ellington.

    Does / did Ryan Williams play / played special teams with the Cards or in college?

  18. By joe holst on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    no need to rush it. let him get 100%, he could come in and tear it up. no use forcing him out there only to reinjure himself.

  19. By NJAzCardssFan on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    Darren- Could Williams be placed on the PUP until he is ready to go?

  20. By Darren Urban on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    NJAz —

    RE: PUP

    No. He has already practiced in camp. Once you practice, PUP is no longer an option.

  21. By ored on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    sundays of the season,as the nfl turns,2 more weeks and all will be clear,the vets will be rested and ready,a few plays in real time to get back in the saddle and off we go.been a long and exciting off season,are you ready for some football?

  22. By Eazy E on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    It really is unfortunate that Ryan just can’t get going. #Bless my dude heart though

  23. By Dennis on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    Williams is done if he can’t or won’t play with pain. Time to look for another running back.

  24. By Josh on Aug 20, 2013 | Reply

    Even with a lot of the first string offense line hurt last year williams did a amazing job when he was on the field. This is my first and likely last comment on here I really hope they give him a chance to show what hes got. Iv been waiting to see him play again since last year!

  25. By HunterSThompson on Aug 20, 2013 | Reply

    Hi Darren,

    Great stuff, as usual. I was wondering if you have any insight (directly or through contacts in the media) about other team’s rosters, specifically any running backs that may be cut after this weekend. It would not surprise me to see the Cards bring in someone they thought could challenge for the fourth spot if Williams does not play. Your thoughts?

  26. By Darren Urban on Aug 20, 2013 | Reply

    Hunter —

    RE: RBs

    Not really at this point. Any cut this early are probably not going to be who you are looking for. After final cuts? Maybe.

  27. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Aug 20, 2013 | Reply

    Good luck Mr. Williams. I hope you can make the team. Great talent, but only you know what’s going on with your knee. Take the time you need but realize that the team can not and will not wait. At some point, the staff will replace you if need be.

    Palmer needs to get his act together. He looked horrible. The coaches can play it up as much as they like. (Saving Face). Palmer missed reads, missed open receivers, and threw into double coverage. He just looked bad. I hope it was just for this one game, but if that’s what we are to expect for this season, it will be another 5-11 year. So far (only my opinion), Stanton has played better in the games. But he’s not going up against starters like Palmer. If Palmer continues to play like he did against Dallas, I can see BA pulling the trigger and benching him.
    It will be interesting to see how this develops.
    Don’t get me wrong, I want the best for the team, but I also want a QB that will lead the offense to TD’s and wins.

    The O-line is looking much better than last year, but the D-line seems a little suspect. I did not see a lot of pressure on Romo or Rodgers for that matter. Something else to watch.

    Last but not least. Tyrann Mathieu. Please, Please stop singing his praises. I love the kid, and I want him to do well and he has, but until he has done this in the regular season, I’m not sold. Kevin Minter has looked great but he’s not getting national coverage. Give Mathieu time to develop before you crown him the best 3rd round pick in the draft.

    Keep up the good work guys.

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