Williams rushed five times for 29 yards and brought in two of three targets for 16 yards in the Packers' 31-17 loss to the Redskins on Sunday. Williams was expected to retain clear lead-back status for at least one more week despite the return of Aaron Jones from suspension, but it was the latter who actually paced the backfield in carries, albeit by just one. Williams was more efficient on a per-touch basis, but Jones is clearly the more explosive of the two. Moreover, with Williams having averaged well under 4.0 yards per tote in the first two games, Sunday's 5.8 figure is likely an outlier. The second-year BYU product will look to continue laying claim to his share of the backfield work against the Bills in a Week 4 matchup.
Williams and Ty Montgomery are expected to see the majority of the snaps out of the backfield Sunday against the Redskins after head coach Mike McCarthy said the duo "will be in the first slot" among the team's running backs this week, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports. McCarthy's comments are noteworthy after Aaron Jones, the Packers' top runner last season on a per-carry basis, was reinstated to the active roster following a two-game suspension. While Jones still profiles as the Packers' most dynamic backfield threat, it appears both Williams and Montgomery may have endeared themselves to the coaching staff with their skills in pass protection, an aspect that has taken on even greater importance with franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers playing through a bone bruise and sprained MCL in his left knee. It's possible that Jones eventually jumps either or both of his competitors on the depth chart if he can prove to be a more well-rounded back in practices and during any in-game opportunities he receives, but Williams looks primed to act as the team's lead back for at least another week. Williams has out-snapped Montgomery in both contests this season while holding a 31-7 edge in carries, though he has yet to score and is averaging a weak 3.4 yards per tote.
Williams carried 16 times for 59 yards and caught three of four targets for 12 additional yards during Sunday's 29-29 tie with the Vikings. Williams struggled to the tune of 3.7 yards per carry, generating a long run of just 11 yards against the stout Minnesota front. He also led the backfield in targets but averaged just four yards on his three receptions. Williams has been given the majority of the backfield work through the first two weeks, but he's responded with just 118 scrimmage yards on 34 touches. His backfield mate Aaron Jones is eligible to return from a two-game suspension Week 3 against the Redskins and could eat into Williams' touches after this lackluster audition.
Williams had 15 carries for 47 yards in Sunday's victory over the Bears. He was targeted twice but did not catch a pass. The Packers were in catch-up mode for most of Sunday's contest, which limited Williams' opportunities to touch the ball. He was not very effective when he did run it, averaging just 3.13 YPC, but he played a key role in pass protection for a banged-up Aaron Rodgers after halftime. That skill will earn him snaps in the Packers' backfield whenever he is healthy, but he's going to have to be more productive when he runs the ball in order to hang onto the starting job after fellow running back Aaron Jones completes his two-game suspension.
Williams (ankle) appears to be a full participant at Monday's practice, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Williams only missed a few days of practice after hurting his ankle in the second week of the preseason, but the extent of his participation hasn't been clear. He never seemed too worried about the injury and should be fine for Week 1 against the Bears. Williams should be busy while Aaron Jones serves a two-game suspension, but Ty Montgomery (foot) also figures to have a role if he's healthy.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|6||10/16||San Francisco 49ers||15||15.33|
|8||10/28||@Los Angeles Rams||11||14.33|
|9||11/05||@New England Patriots||21||18.00|
|16||12/23||@New York Jets||16||16.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||153||556||4||25||262||2||117|