A year after recording 52 tackles, Williams finished the season with just 28 tackles, one sack, and one touchdown while being active for all 16 games. At one point, Williams was in line to start at free safety following the injury to Aaron Williams, but others ended up impressing more and by the end of the season Duke Williams was barely getting off the bench. We'll see if coach Rex Ryan wants to keep him around, but Williams clearly hasn't taken the leap forward the previous regime - the group that drafted him in the fourth round out of Nevad in 2013 - was hoping for.
Williams had five total tackles - including his first sack of the season - during Sunday's loss to the Jaguars, while seeing action on all 67 of the team's defensive snaps. In the absence of Aaron Williams, Duke Williams has seemingly taken over the starting free safety job instead of Baccari Rambo, who saw just seven defensive snaps in the loss. Duke Williams doesn't have as much talent as Aaron, but he does have 11 tackles, the sack, and a pass defensed over the last two games.
The Bills have an opening at starting safety. Duke Williams appears to be a logical candidate to fill that role. But Rex Ryan is not about to present it to him on a silver platter. "I think there is going to be competition at that spot," he told ESPN. "We're not handing it to him, that it's set in stone." The Bills are in a similar position as they were a year ago, after losing Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd and replacing him with Da'Norris Searcy, who took the job and ran with it. Searcy has since hightailed it to Tennessee, leaving the safety spot opposite Aaron Williams open. Duke Williams, a fourth-round pick in 2013, played 49 percent of the defensive snaps a year ago after barely getting his feet wet as a rookie. He contributed to 53 tackles and added an interception. "I think Duke is a guy that has the physical traits you look for; he loves to play and is a tough physical guy and he can run," Ryan said. "I think those are obviously some main traits you look for. ... There's probably competition in this building and that will be good for Duke and will be good for our football team."
Bills running back C.J. Spiller (shoulder) is among the team's players listed as probable who are active for Sunday's game against the Raiders. Spiller is making his return from injured reserve and will be playing in his first game since Week 7. Also active after being listed as probable are safeties Da'Norris Searcy (hamstring) and Duke Williams (concussion), cornerback Stephon Gilmore (shoulder), defensive end Jarius Wynn (knee), running back Anthony Dixon (chest), wide receiver Marcus Thigpen (foot) and kicker Dan Carpenter (groin). The Bills are a 6 1/2-point favorite for Sunday's road matchup with the Raiders.
The Bills listed the following players as probable for Sunday's game at Oakland: Dan Carpenter, Anthony Dixon, Stephon Gilmore, Chris Gragg, Da'Norris Searcy, C.J. Spiller, Marcus Thigpen, Duke Williams and Jarius Wynn. The Bills did not have any players listed as questionable, doubtful or out. The Bills are listed as 6 1/2-point favorites.
|2||09/16||New York Jets||14|
|4||10/02||@New England Patriots||7|
|5||10/09||@Los Angeles Rams||30|
|6||10/16||San Francisco 49ers||15|
|8||10/30||New England Patriots||7|
|17||01/01||@New York Jets||14|