Arizona Cardinals running back Ryan Williams sidelined for 2012-2013 season
During the fourth quarter of Thursday’s loss to the St. Louis Rams, Ryan Williams went down after taking a heavy blow from a rival defender. There were initially a few concerns over a possible concussion when Ryan Williams didn’t immediately rise to his feet, but the running back told the media after the game that he had only sustained a shoulder injury.
The injury did not appear to be a cause for much alarm through the weekend, until Ryan Williams’ status was reset following further tests on Monday.
It is a unique problem for the Arizona Cardinals who only at the start of this season were deep at running back. But with Beanie Wells being put on the “Injured/reserve” list a few weeks back due to a severe turf toe injury and Ryan Williams lined up for shoulder surgery that could have him sidelined for the 2012 season, the Arizona Cardinals are struggling to find a starting caliber running back.
Beanie Wells was led the Arizona Cardinals in rushing yards last season and his combination with Ryan Williams was a highly anticipated feature of the teams’ game this year.
But Beanie Wells won’t be back in any case before the Thanksgiving weekend.
Hence, the Arizona Cardinals offense, which is already struggling to set the ball in motion and put some points on the scoreboard, will just have to do with LaRod Stephens-Howling at the starting running back spot with William Powell behind him. However, LaRod Stephens-Howling had only 12 carries so far in the season and was sidelined the past two weeks due to a hip flexor injury.
While William Powell made an impressive preseason start, there are concerns over whether he can handle the pressure and produce at such a crucial juncture for the Arizona Cardinals. Running back Alfonso Smith, who has also been named in the mix, raises same concerns over his consistency and reliability issues.
However, it is undeniable that at some point this season, the Arizona Cardinals will have to bring in some help at the department. And while the free agency is an open option, it is thin in talented running backs who can serve as a long-term solution at the position.
Chester Taylor, Joseph Addai and Jerious Norwood could provide some temporarily relief, but they aren’t big time players in any sense.
Trade is another option and the Arizona Cardinals will find plenty of fish in the sea, buried on the other team’s depth charts.
Wherever this goes, the point remains that the Arizona Cardinals will have to fix the mess at running back during this season or next year’s drafts.
Until then, it’s safe to say that the Arizona Cardinals’ second-round pick out of Virginia Tech, Ryan Williams, will be forced to watch the remainder of the season from the sidelines. It’s kind of hard not to feel sad for the 22-year-old Ryan Williams, who was also sidelined in his rookie season (2011) due to a torn patella tendon in his right knee.
Ryan Williams had 58 carries for 164 rushing yards, and 7 receptions for 44 yards so far this season.