Williams ran for 129 yards and a touchdown on 25 and added 25 yards and five catches during Saturday's 31-13 win over the Colts. He was seen on the sideline having his feet and ankles taped up, but he stayed in through the Chiefs' final drive.
Sophomore sensation Patrick Mahomes will get a lot of the headlines heading into the AFC championship game, but Williams deserves a ton of the credit. Playing against a Colts team that was sporadic at best on offense, Williams wore Indy's defense down and early. He sliced and diced for a 10-yard touchdown on the Chiefs' opening possession and easily converted a fourth and short on the very next drive. How he performs, particularly if the weather is a factor, in the AFC championship game will be a major factor as to whether the Chiefs will head to their first Super Bowl in 50 years. He averaged 4.2 yards per carry this season in limited opportunities against potential opponents New England and Los Angeles, scoring twice and adding 74 yards on six catches.
Williams will start Saturday versus the Colts, Nate Taylor of The Athletic reports.
Spencer Ware gave it the old college try in effort to play for the first time since Week 14, but his hamstring didn't pass the requisite tests during a pregame warmup. With inactive status confirmed for Ware, Williams will work as the Chiefs' lead back, which previously translated to 48 touches for 322 yards and four TDs in three games to close out the regular season. Behind Williams, fellow running backs Darrel Williams and Charcandrick West will receive any reps that linger.
Williams picked up 51 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries and caught one pass for eight yards during Week 17 against the Raiders.
Williams has emerged as a key piece for the Chiefs out of the backfield with Spencer Ware (hamstring) sidelined and will likely factor into the Chiefs' playoff plans after averaging 6.0 yards per carry and notching three rushing touchdowns and four total touchdowns in the final three games of the season. He's also proven to be a capable pass-catcher, snaring 18 passes for 135 yards and two scores over the final four contests and could be a sneaky option in playoff pools.
Charcandrick West and Darrel Williams are on hand to see complementary work in the team's Week 17 backfield, but with Ware still out, Damien Williams is in a good spot to produce against an Oakland defense that hasn't been strong against the run this season.
The Chiefs rewarded Williams for his strong work in the wake of Kareem Hunt's release and Spencer Ware's injury. Since taking on a larger role after the Chiefs' bye, Williams has averaged 5.7 yards per carry while adding 19 receptions and five touchdowns from scrimmage. He'll be a part of the Chiefs' backfield plans moving forward, but this signing won't preclude Kansas City from exploring other options at running back through free agency and the draft.
|2018||Kansas City Chiefs||16||3||50||256||5.1||25||4||3||15|
|2018||Kansas City Chiefs||16||3||23||160||7.0||32||2||1||0||9|
|2018||Kansas City Chiefs||16||0||0||---||0||0||0|
|2018||Kansas City Chiefs||16||4||4.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||No.||Yds||Lg||Avg||Blk||I20||TB||Downed||No||Ret Yds||TD||Net Avg|
|2018||Kansas City Chiefs||16||0||0||0||---||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||---|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2018||Kansas City Chiefs||16||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|