Cardinals news: Kerwynn Williams will be the starting RB in Week 2
For the next 8-12 weeks, the Arizona Cardinals will look to employ a three-headed backfield on offense in the wake of David Johnson’s wrist injury. Head coach Bruce Arians is now left with a less-desirable running back by committee compared to having an every-down back in Johnson, who took the league by storm last season by finishing in the top 10 in both rushing yards (7th) and receiving yards (1st) amongst all running backs last season.
Somebody else from Arizona’s running back corps has got to be at the top of the rotation, though, and Arians went with Kerwynn Williams as his starter for Week 2’s road game in Indianapolis, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport reported on Twitter.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 13, 2017
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The 26-year-old Williams is the least-experienced back between him, Andre Ellington and Chris Johnson. In three seasons with the Cardinals, Williams played just a total 22 games with 98 carries, 545 rushing yards, and three touchdowns. However, the seventh-round pick out of Utah State’s average of 5.6 yards per carry is the best among the three running backs, which would likely explain Arians’ decision for going with Williams as his starter.
Although Ellington has had more reps and playing time in his four years with the Cards, his 4.3 yards-per-carry average pales in comparison to Williams’. Instead, the product out of Clemson will be featured more in the team’s passing-down situations. Ellington has 112 career receptions for 999 yards (7.1 yards per catch) and three receiving touchdowns.
The former Offensive Player of the Year, Chris Johnson, who was released by the Cardinals on September 1 only to re-sign him two weeks later following the injury to David Johnson, can be considered as a mere move to add further depth to the team’s backfield. The three-time Pro Bowl selection has not had a noteworthy season since 2013. And at 31 years of age, the man formerly revered as CJ2K cannot be depended on for a significant workload anymore. Last season, Johnson finished with career-lows across the board: 25 carries for 95 rushing yards (3.8 YPC) in just four games played.
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