Williams rushed four times for 26 yards and a touchdown during Thursday's 24-20 win over the Jaguars in the preseason opener.
Williams' first carry didn't come until about five minutes remained in the game, but he certainly made a strong impact nonetheless. In fact, Williams' output all came on one drive, which he capped with a four-yard, go-ahead touchdown. That enabled the Saints to take a couple knees on their final series, and could earn Williams earlier action in next Friday's game against the Cardinals.
With Mark Ingram likely facing a four-game suspension, Williams may be in line for an expanded early season role.
Alvin Kamara is expected to see an increased workload while Ingram is sidelined, 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, though he 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.
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 9News 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 weekend, as the previous expectation was that he'd be LeSean McCoy's top backup in Buffalo. The Broncos seemingly have a deep backfield with C.J. Anderson, Jamaal Charles, De'Angelo Henderson and eventually Devontae Booker (wrist), but none of the bunch is anywhere near being a sure thing.
|P3||8/25/18||@ LAC||8:00 pm|
|3||9/23/18||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|4||9/30/18||@ NYG||4:25 pm|
|Bye: Week 6|
|7||10/21/18||@ BAL||4:05 pm|
|8||10/28/18||@ MIN||8:20 pm|
|10||11/11/18||@ CIN||1:00 pm|
|13||11/29/18||@ DAL||8:20 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|15||12/17/18||@ CAR||8:15 pm|
|2017||New Orleans Saints||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2018||New Orleans Saints||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2017||New Orleans Saints||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|
|2018||New Orleans Saints||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|
|2017||New Orleans Saints||0||0||0||0||---||0||---||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||---|
|2018||New Orleans Saints||0||0||0||0||---||0||---||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||---|
|2017||New Orleans Saints||0||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2018||New Orleans Saints||0||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2017||New Orleans Saints||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2018||New Orleans Saints||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|