Williams has been getting most of the work with the starting offense during normal down-and-distance situations, ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky reports.
Aaron Jones (suspension) has been sidelined with a hamstring injury, and Ty Montgomery has been taking most of the first-team reps in two-minute and no-huddle situations. Williams is the best bet to handle the Week 1 starting job, but a committee approach is still the most likely outcome, especially once Jones returns from a two-game suspension. Despite averaging just 3.6 yards per carry as a rookie, Williams made a strong impression with his durability (16 games) and unexpected pass-catching contributions (25 catches for 262 yards and two scores on 34 targets).
Packers coach Mike McCarthy expects Williams to be part of a committee backfield, ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky reports. "We've got young players that we really like that all played really well, but it's been in short periods of time," McCarthy said. "Ty Montgomery had a run there where he was outstanding. Jamaal has probably been the most available of the three, and Aaron [Jones] has been so impactful when he's been in there."
Williams was the clear leader of the Green Bay backfield in the second half of last season, recording at least 10 carries in each of the final eight games, though he fell shy of four yards per carry in all but one of those contests. While probably the least explosive of the bunch, Williams played all 16 games in his rookie season, avoiding the injury bug that bit both Jones and Montgomery. Each of the three figures to spend time working with the first-team offense during training camp, and the battle for playing time may ultimately spill into the regular season. Williams seems to have the edge in durability, but Jones was the most effective rusher (5.5 YPC) last season, and Montgomery has an advantage in terms of both experience and pass-catching skill.
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 ballcarriers 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.
|P3||8/24/18||@ OAK||10:30 pm|
|P4||8/30/18||@ KC||8:30 pm|
|3||9/23/18||@ WAS||1:00 pm|
|5||10/7/18||@ DET||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 7|
|8||10/28/18||@ LAR||4:25 pm|
|9||11/4/18||@ NE||8:20 pm|
|11||11/15/18||@ SEA||8:20 pm|
|12||11/25/18||@ MIN||8:20 pm|
|15||12/16/18||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|16||12/23/18||@ NYJ||1:00 pm|
|2017||Green Bay Packers||16||7||153||556||3.6||25||4||1||32|
|2018||Green Bay Packers||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2017||Green Bay Packers||16||7||25||262||10.5||54||2||3||1||12|
|2018||Green Bay Packers||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|
|2017||Green Bay Packers||16||3||3.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2018||Green Bay Packers||0||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|