Williams recorded 22 carries for 82 yards and three catches (on five targets) for 31 yards during Sunday's 35-11 loss at Detroit. With fellow rookie running back Aaron Jones inactive due to an MCL sprain in his left knee, Williams more than upheld his end of the bargain as a bell cow, handling 22 of the Packers' 27 rushes. Williams' pass-catching prowess was also on display, as he managed his first reception since Week 14. Over the final eight games of the season, he surpassed 100 yards from scrimmage four times, averaging 93.3 such yards per outing while reaching the end zone three times. The performance may have been enough to push Ty Montgomery (wrist) for lead duty in the 2018 campaign. Before then, though, Williams may have to recover from a head injury, as he left Sunday's game late in the fourth quarter to undergo a concussion evaluation.
Williams is expected to handle the bulk of the snaps at running back Week 17 against the Lions with Aaron Jones (knee) considered unlikely to play, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports. Jones exited Saturday's 16-0 loss to the Vikings with a sprained MCL in his left knee, an injury similar to the one in his right knee that sidelined him for two weeks earlier this season. His absences in losses to the Steelers and Ravens enabled Williams to take hold of lead-back duties in the contest, with the rookie out of BYU accumulating a combined 42 carries for 179 yards and two touchdowns and six receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown. With fellow rookie Devante Mays and fullback Aaron Ripkowski the only other ball carriers on the roster and neither likely to see significant snaps in the season finale, Williams looks well positioned to reclaim a 20-plus-carry workload.
Williams recorded 15 carries for 58 yards and didn't reel in any of his three targets during Saturday's 16-0 defeat to the Vikings. Prior to Aaron Rodgers' one-game cameo Week 15, Williams established himself as an all-around threat out of the backfield, racking up 545 scrimmage yards and averaging one touchdown per contest from Weeks 10 through 14. Over the last two outings, though, he mustered 88 yards on 25 carries and saw just the three aforementioned targets. At this point, the Packers have little to play for outside of player development, so Week 17 would seem to be a game in which Williams, rather than Brett Hundley (40 pass attempts Saturday), is the focal point of the offense. Williams' cause would be helped further if Aaron Jones, who was ruled out of Saturday's game with a knee injury, takes a seat in the season finale.
Williams rushed 10 times for 30 yards in Sunday's 31-24 loss to the Panthers. Williams saw his role diminish with Aaron Rodgers' return from a collarbone injury, recording his lowest carry total since he became a starter in Week 9. The rookie has seen his rushing touches drop after each of the two games, and he's now averaged 3.4 yards or fewer in five of the last six contests overall. Williams' work in the passing game and his nose for the end zone have both helped make up for mediocre yardage totals in many of his starts, but neither factor came into play Sunday. Meanwhile, fellow first-year back Aaron Jones averaged an impressive 15.7 yards on his three totes, potentially earning himself a bigger workload in Week 16 against the Vikings.
Williams took 15 carries for 49 yards and a touchdown and caught all seven of his targets for 69 yards and another score in Sunday's 27-21 overtime win in Cleveland. Williams got off to a fast start when the Browns left him wide open for a 30-yard touchdown on the opening drive. He struggled to get anything going on the ground against an underrated run defense, but he did score a short touchdown on his third try from the one-yard line early in the fourth quarter. Williams ultimately topped 20 touches for a fifth straight week, while Aaron Jones lost two yards on four carries and didn't get any targets. Williams figures to stay busy in a Week 15 road game against the Panthers, regardless of whether Brett Hundley or Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) is under center.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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