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Cardinals RB Ryan Williams will miss Hall of Fame Game Sunday

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
Williams won't be running Sunday at the Hall of Fame Game. (AP)

Most of the focus of the Cardinals training camp is on the quarterback battle -- which is, quite literally, a laugher -- between John Skelton and Kevin Kolb. That's understood and expected. But don't sleep on the battle for carries out of the backfield between incumbent Beanie Wells (currently on the PUP list) and second-year player Ryan Williams.

Williams, aka Lil Sweetness aka Dave Richard's mancrush, missed all of last season after tearing the patella tendon in his knee. And it looks like he'll miss at least one more game before coming back, as he told the Arizona Republic that he's sitting out against the Saints on Sunday in the Hall of Fame Game.

"I'm not going to play, maybe catch the next one," Williams said. "I'm in no rush to get back on the knee. I'm just chilling. Rehab is going well. It's just not worth it to risk it in a game that doesn't mean that much."

Sweetness avoided the PUP list heading into the season, and actually broke that news to Richard, high proof of the ongoing crush:

So it's not as if he's in bad shape physically or anything. The Cards just want to make sure Williams is 100 percent heading into the regular season.

Assuming he gets some, it'll be interesting to see how he looks during preseason action. Wells wasn't thrilled with Arizona's front office when they drafted Williams in the second round in 2010, and while he topped 1,000 yards for the first time in his career last season, there's some feeling that Williams could emerge as the better back this year.

All three of our fantasy experts -- Richard, Jamey Eisenberg and Nathan Zegura -- have Wells above Richard in their preseason fantasy rankings, but the gap isn't that huge and only Jamey has Wells ranked as a top-25 running back for this season.

With Wells is scheduled to return in the Cards second preseason game, he'll have a shot at widening that gap if Williams isn't able to get on the field for the Cards next outing against the Raiders.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

 
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