ARIZONA CARDINALS

Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians: Ryan Williams ‘needs to start playing’

Aug 20, 2013, 3:26 AM | Updated: 3:27 am

Follow @theAdamGreenPresented By...

GLENDALE, Ariz. – At this point, it’s actually quite simple for Arizona Cardinals running back Ryan Williams.

He needs to get on the field, and the sooner the better.

A second-round pick of the team’s in 2011, Williams has battled injuries pretty much from the get-go. His latest ailment, a right knee injury, has caused him to miss practices over the last few weeks as well as both of the team’s preseason games.

And unfortunately, it does not sound like he’ll be making his preseason debut when the Cardinals take the field Saturday against the San Diego Chargers at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Williams, who has rushed for just 164 yards on 58 career carries, has not played enough to show enough, and it may cost him a roster spot. The team selected running backs Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington in the 2013 NFL Draft to go along with Rashard Mendenhall and Alfonso Smith, so it is not as if the team has no depth behind the former Virginia Tech star.

So for Williams, being out of action while the team’s other four options are on the field making plays is not a good way to impress a new coaching staff.

“He needs to start playing,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Monday. “I can’t evaluate him unless he plays.”

Playing has been an issue that has dogged Williams since his rookie year, when a ruptured patella tendon suffered in the preseason opener caused him to miss the entire campaign. Then, finally healthy last year, he played in just five games before breaking his collarbone Week 5 against the St. Louis Rams.

Arians noted that he cannot say if Williams’ problems are more mental than physical right now, saying, “He’s the only one that can answer that,” but that right now the only thing Williams can do is a little running along with work on the stationary bike.

“You can’t get these reps back,” Arians lamented. “He had an excellent OTAs; he started out with an excellent camp; was cutting, running.

“And then just put the breaks on.”

Presented By
Western Governors University

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals D.J. Humphries...

Vincent DeAngelis

Cardinals’ OT D.J. Humphries talks Marvin Harrison Jr., recovery from torn ACL

Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle D.J. Humphries expressed that he thinks Marvin Harrison Jr. is too easy to miss in the 2024 NFL Draft.

15 hours ago

Malik Nabers speaks with reporters at 2024 NFL Draft Combine...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals add Malik Nabers, not Marvin Harrison Jr., in Lance Zierlein’s latest mock draft

NFL.com's Lance Zierlein zigged instead of zagged on Monday, mock-drafting Malik Nabers, not Marvin Harrison Jr., to the Cardinals at No. 4.

16 hours ago

Jacob Cowing runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL Draft Combine...

Tyler Drake

Projecting where Arizona Cardinals could draft NFL Combine standouts

A look at some of the combine standouts who could fill a Cardinals' need and how they could realistically find their way to Arizona:

19 hours ago

Notre Dame offensive lineman Joe Alt runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, Mar...

Tom Kuebel

Cardinals could trade up to pick OL prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft

After an impressive showing by the offensive lineman at the 2024 NFL Draft Combine, the Cardinals might have to trade up from pick No. 27 to get a top prospect.

2 days ago

Rome Odunze...

Alex Weiner

How did Rome Odunze measure at NFL Draft Combine after meeting with Cardinals?

Before taking the field to run the 40-yard dash, Rome Odunze met with several teams sitting atop the draft, including the Cardinals.

2 days ago

Olumuyiwa Fashanu...

Jesse Morrison

NFL Draft OL prospect Olu Fashanu had ‘smooth meeting’ with Cardinals, Jonathan Gannon

One of the top prospects in the NFL draft, offensive tackle Olumuyiwa Fashanu seemed interested in the Cardinals at the NFL combine.

3 days ago

Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians: Ryan Williams ‘needs to start playing’