For most, the fourth preseason game is nothing short of a formality.
For running back Ryan Williams, though, Thursday night’s contest against the Denver Broncos served as his final chance to make a case that he belongs on the Arizona Cardinals’ 53-man roster going into the 2013 regular season.
The third-year back, who has been plagued by injuries during his brief NFL career, made the most of of his audition in the Cardinals’ 32-24 victory at Sports Authority Field. Williams ran the ball nine times for 25 yards and scored the team’s lone touchdown in the first half.
During Arizona’s 17-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter, Williams showed off his strength and durability with eight carries, including a beautiful eight-yard run off to the left side of the line and a powerful one-yard scamper into the end zone on fourth and goal.
But did he do enough in two preseason games — 11 rushes for 35 yards — to make the team?
Head coach Bruce Arians thinks so.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt,” Arians said to Arizona Sports 620’s Paul Calvisi after Thursday’s game. “We’re so good at running back.
“We’re going to keep the best 53 players, even if we have to overload one position. I’m not going to keep a bad player at one position and cut a good player.”
Well, there you have it. Ryan Williams will be an Arizona Cardinal when the regular season opens up on Sept. 8.
“I’m so happy for him,” said Arians. “He busted his tail six hours a day in the weight room for four months. He was so frustrated in camp, but I was so happy to see him get out and play football and play it well.”