Williams ran for 34 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries in the Steelers' 36-17 loss to the Patriots on Sunday. He also caught seven passes for 51 yards. The combination of losing Le'Veon Bell (groin) and trailing early forced Pittsburgh to become one-dimensional on offense. As a result, Williams was more of a factor in the passing game. Injuries and suspensions to Bell have required the Steelers to call upon Williams often during his tenure with the team. He'll turn 34 before next season, but the unrestricted free agent may seek a starting role elsewhere next season.
Williams ran twice for two yards in Pittsburgh's 30-12 playoff win against Miami on Sunday. The Steelers jumped out to an early lead, then leaned heavily on Le'Veon Bell, whose 165 rushing yards were the most by a Pittsburgh player in a postseason game, breaking the mark of 158 set by Franco Harris in Super Bowl IX against the Vikings (January 12, 1975). Thus, they didn't need to call on Williams until the final minutes of the game. Bell ran for 144 yards in a 43-14 win over the Chiefs earlier this season, so Williams may not see much action in next week's playoff game either. Serving as Bell's primary back-up this season, Williams totaled 343 yards and four touchdowns on 98 carries, and caught 18 passes for 118 yards and another two scores.
Williams carried 23 times for 67 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's game against the Browns. He also caught three of four targets for 27 yards and another touchdown in the 27-24 win. Starting for a resting Le'Veon Bell, Williams caught an 11-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and later plowed in from one yard out for his second score of the day. Despite a bit of inefficiency on the ground, Williams' performance was extremely positive for the team, as he looks poised to return to a useful backup role during the playoffs after not contributing in any of the last seven games due to injury.
Williams (knee) practiced fully Wednesday. Williams experienced some swelling on his knee in advance of Week 15's action, but in the absence of any setbacks, he's expected to be able to serve as Le'Veon Bell's primary backup Sunday against the Ravens.
Williams (knee) is expected to suit up Sunday against the Ravens, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. During a media session Tuesday, head coach Mike Tomlin relayed that Williams experienced some "swelling on his knee" before the Steelers' Week 15 win at Cincinnati, which factored into the decision to include the running back on the inactive list. With the issue "behind him", per Tomlin, Williams will prepare this week as if he'll serve as Le'Veon Bell's primary backup Sunday.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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