Kerwynn Williams plays through pain and brings stability to the offense
Playing for an offense that could not find the end zone on Sunday, Kerwynn Williams provided a bright spot in the Cardinals’ backfield and helped propel the team to its sixth win of the season, beating the Titans 12-7.
Williams racked up 73 yards rushing on 20 carries to lead a determined charge by the Cardinals to protect their home turf, moving them to 4-3 at University of Phoenix Stadium this season.
Taking on a heavier workload means taking more hits and he has been doing it despite playing through two cracked ribs.
“They are doing OK, not quite barbecued,” Williams joked with Doug & Wolf Monday morning on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Despite the pain, Williams knows where he needs to draw the line as to whether or not he can compete.
“I don’t do shots or pills, I’m not really into that. I feel like it hides what’s really going on and you are really making things worse. I feel like if you have to do that then you shouldn’t really be playing,” Williams said.
“I go through all that to get the last result on Sunday. So when I get that, that makes it all worth it,” said the running back.
The Cardinals’ offense has gone through three starting quarterbacks and now four starting running backs in the 2017 season.
With injuries to running backs David Johnson and Adrian Peterson, and after the release of backups Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington, Williams was moved to the starting spot in week 13 against the Rams and has averaged 4.72 yards per carry on 18 rush attempts per game.
Even though he didn’t find the end zone in either game, the five-year veteran has stabilized the Cardinals’ backfield for the time being.
Williams is only seven yards away from his career high in rushing yards for a season and with two more rushing touchdown he will set a new career high in that category as well.
He is 216 yards shy of eclipsing 1,000 yards for his career. With games left against the Redskins and the Giants, who both rank in the bottom 10 rush defense, Williams has a reasonable shot to get to that number.
Williams was asked many questions about his confidance level and the overall team in general.
“My confidence in myself is supreme,” said Williams. “Once you lose that confidence in yourself you stop being the same player you are.”
Part of finding that confidence and competitiveness stems from talking trash.
“I like to get my trash talk in when I can,” Williams said. “I feel like that’s your inner competitiveness coming out. I really think the trash talk gets me into the game, it gets me more focused and more in tune with whats going on.”
“I was getting into it with (Titans saftey Johnathan) Cyprien (Sunday), he’s definitely the biggest trash talker on their defense,” Williams said.