Flagstaff, Ariz. – Ryan Williams has been the star of training camp.
Returning from a knee injury suffered last preseason, the running back has
made play-after-play, day-after-day.
The next step, of course, would be to play in a game, and he’ll have his
first opportunity to do that Sunday in the Hall of Fame game.
The running back may take the field — or he may not. The decision, he
said, is up to him.
“I’m still anxious at the same time because I haven’t played a game in a
while, but I’m not because I want to make sure I’m completely comfortable,
and going to be comfortable with myself,” he said after practice Tuesday.
It’s a tough call for Williams, because while everyone wants to see him back
on the field in a game situation, everyone knows the Cardinals will
really need him on September 9 when the games start to count.
And with Beanie Wells still sidelined after offseason knee surgery, the
theme around camp seems to be one of enjoying what Williams is doing,
while understanding that he’s still got a ways to go before he’s truly
So, Williams said he’s sort of pacing himself, not trying to do too much too
Right now, he seems to feel good. He certainly looks good, but even still
it’s important to remember Williams is still less than a year removed from
the injury that cost him his rookie season.
“I’ve read a lot on a lot of injuries and [former Tampa Bay running back]
Cadillac (Williams) is probably the most popular running back to have this
injury, it took him 14 months to get back and I’m still in month 11,” he
Hard to believe, but it’s true. Williams initially ruptured the patella tendon
in his right knee on August 19 of last year, and has been working his way
back ever since. Sure, there are times where the running back is sore, but
he attributed that more to the game of football than his injury.
So for that, blame his teammates.
“These guys out here, they like hitting me,” Williams said, noting that he’s
always asked if he’s OK after being hit. “I tell them it’s a good thing for me,
just breaking that mental part down if I get hit, fall to the ground, fall on
my knee, fall on my side or something like that, it’s one of those things
where I need it to a certain extent.”
With each practice Williams seems closer to not only returning, but coming
back as the player who had Cardinals coaches and fans alike excited about
what he could do after being taken in the second round of the 2011 NFL
In due time.