With Mark Ingram suspended for the first four games of the season, Jonathan Williams has a chance to re-emerge and find some playing time to begin the season with the Saints. He'll compete with Terrance West and other backs for that opportunity. If he gets it, he'll carry minimal value as a late-round flier with some potential to help Fantasy owners who wait for running backs on Draft Day.
With Mark Ingram likely facing a four-game suspension to begin the season, Williams may be in line for an expanded role behind Alvin Kamara in the early going. Kamara should assume an even larger share of the backfield snaps while Ingram is out of the mix, but Williams could also be a beneficiary if he impresses the coaching staff this offseason. Before signing with the Saints last November, Williams spent nearly the entire 2017 season on the Broncos' practice squad, despite gained 94 yards on 27 carries as a rookie with the Bills in 2016. Williams is expected to battle for depth-chart positioning with fellow incumbent running backs Daniel Lasco and Trey Edmunds, as well as rookie Boston Scott, who was drafted by the Saints in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The team could also elect to bring in additional veteran help this offseason.
Williams (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Rams, Herbie Teope of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Williams joined the Saints a little under two weeks ago after Daniel Lasco (neck) was moved to injured reserve, but the former Arkansas standout has yet to make his New Orleans debut. That's unlikely to change anytime soon unless one of the three running backs ahead of Williams on the depth chart -- Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara and Trey Edmunds -- suffers an injury.
The Saints signed Williams off the Broncos' practice squad Tuesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Expected to serve as a change-of-pace option to LeSean McCoy in Buffalo heading into this season, the Bills pulled an audible and waived Williams at the end of the preseason slate, likely hoping he would pass through waivers unclaimed. Once he did, though, the Broncos offered Williams a practice-squad salary more than four times the minimum, and he's resided in Denver in the meantime. With Tuesday's transaction, Williams will join a Saints rushing attack ranked third in the NFL at 142.2 yards per game. While Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara will continue to serve as a high-quality one-two punch out of the backfield, the addition of Williams suggests he was brought in to ease the burden on those two as the team seeks its first playoff berth since 2013.
Williams received a $510,000 salary to join the Broncos' practice squad, more than quadrupling the $7,200 per week minimum, Mike Klis of 9 News Denver reports. The salary suggests Williams won't be kept on the practice squad for long, likely either joining the active roster or getting cut free entirely within the next few weeks. The 2016 fifth-round pick was one of the most surprising cuts of the past weekend, as it had been expected that he'd serve as the top backup to LeSean McCoy in Buffalo. The Broncos seemingly have a deep backfield with C.J. Anderson, Jamaal Charles, De'Angelo Henderson and eventually Devontae Booker (wrist) in the mix, but nobody in the bunch is a safe bet to remain effective all season.
Updating a previous report, the Broncos signed Williams to their practice squad Tuesday, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports. Williams was one of the most shocking cuts over this past weekend but he will now get a chance to extend his career as a member of the Broncos' practice squad. However, any team could sign Williams to its active roster, or the Broncos could promote the back if they suffer injuries in the backfield this season.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/09||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||29||19.13|
|4||09/30||@New York Giants||21||17.88|
|9||11/04||Los Angeles Rams||27||19.00|
|14||12/09||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||29||19.13|
|3 Year Avg||14||47||0||0||0||0||2|