Arizona Cardinals: Kerwynn Williams refresher
Third year running back, Kerwynn Williams, has been activated to the 53 man roster and is expected to stay there for a while.
While the Arizona Cardinals left San Francisco with a win they also left with a couple of losses. The losses were those of running backs Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington. The only running backs to leave the game healthy were new starter David Johnson and third year back Stepfan Taylor. With these injuries, Kerwynn Williams was promoted to the active roster. It’s been a while since we heard Williams’ name so let’s refresh our minds as to who he is.
Kerwynn Williams was drafted, out of Utah State, by the Colts in the 7th round of the 2013 NFL Draft and spent his rookie preseason with the Colts and his rookie regular season on the San Diego Chargers practice squad. Williams joined the Arizona Cardinals practice squad for the 2014 season and got his first sniff of regular season action in Week 10 against the Rams, however, he did not get any rushing attempts and was sent back to the practice squad. He returned to the active roster in Week 14 against the Chiefs where Williams showed us the talent he was.
Against the Chiefs, Williams while taking his first NFL snaps rushed for 100 yards (the Cardinals’ only 100 yard rusher last season) on only 19 carries against a staunch Chiefs defense. Williams also out gained his counter part Jamaal Charles who gained 91 yards on the night. 4 days later on Thursday Night Football, Williams ran for 75 yards on 15 carries against the St. Louis Rams. Williams ran for 67 yards, on 17 carries, in Week 17 against the 49ers. To end the 2014 regular season, Kerwynn Williams averaged an impressive 4.6 yards per carry.
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Williams was not as impressive in the 2015 preseason and only accumulated 77 yards and 1 touchdown on 23 carries. However, fans and the coaching staff could see the talent and skill that Kerwynn Williams brought to the table and ultimately placed him on the practice squad. He was activated in Week2 against the Bears but had a limited role as he gained 3 yards on one carry. With the Johnson out for 6-8 weeks, and with the ambiguity surrounding Ellington’s turf toe expect Williams to be a mainstay on this roster for the rest of the season.
Williams, a fan favorite, has plenty of opportunities to make plays for the Arizona Cardinals this season. Don’t be surprised if Williams, who is still looking for his first career touchdown, takes his first carry to the house. While as of now he will serve as back up to David Johnson, along with Stepfan Taylor, Williams will still get snaps and could see his work load increase if he plays like how he did last December where he rushed for 246 yards. While it is unfortunate that Johnson and Ellington are out, having a talent like Kerwynn Williams readily available on your practice squad helps dull the pain.