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Arizona Cardinals cut former second-round pick Ryan Williams

Ryan Williams’ career with the Arizona Cardinals is officially finished.

Unfortunately, it never really started.

The team announced Monday it had released the running back, marking the end of the former second-round pick’s rocky three-year run with the team.

Largely because of injury, Williams was never really able to get on track with the Cardinals. Selected 38th overall out of Virginia Tech, his rookie season was ended after he ruptured the patellar tendon in his right knee during a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.

The following season, finally healthy, he injured his left shoulder during a Week 5 loss to the St. Louis Rams.

Williams appeared to be close to the chopping block during preseason last year, but was able to get healthy, finish strong and keep his roster spot. He was inactive for all 16 games, however, and could only watch as rookies Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor cemented their roles as part of the team’s offense behind veteran Rashard Mendenhall.

When asked about Williams’ future with the team in February, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said the running back would have a chance in 2014.

“He went into training camp, missed the entire preseason. It’s very hard to become a player during the season when you’ve got three guys in front of you,” he said. “And he did impressive things with our scout team.”

At the time, though, Arians noted that there was always a chance the back’s future could not involve Arizona, adding that if the team found a better option at the position, “he’ll be gone.”

Williams finished his time in Arizona with 164 yards on 58 carries. He also gained 44 yards on seven receptions.

Along with Williams, the Cardinals also cut tight end Brett Brackett, center John Estes and linebacker Kenny Rowe.