Arizona Cardinals running back Ryan Williams, who has been able to wow fans with his moves when he has been on the field, still is not quite there with his sore knee to make it back, and it is hurting him.
Head coach Bruce Arians told the media on Monday about the running back situation (via azcardinals,com) and communicated a couple of key messages about the running backs on the roster.
One is how the young players -- rookies Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington, and third year player Alfonso Smith -- are standing out. In particular, he said that Smith is having "a great camp." All three of these players have been able to get more reps than normal because both Williams and projected starter Rashard Mendenhall have missed training camp time with injuries.
The second message was about Williams and his missed time. "it's hurting him extremely not to be on the field competing for a job because those other guys are doing so well," he said.
That isn't necessarily a jab at Williams pushing him to get back on the field, as Williams himself has been very clear on multiple occasions that the team and training staff have been very supportive of him in his getting right.
At the same time, Williams knows the writing could be on the wall. He needs to get on the field. He told Darren Urban that he is not likely to play on Friday against the Packers, but that he will certainly be ready to play at home vs Dallas in the team's second preseason game.
Arians, though, also hinted that all the backs on the roster currently could have a chance to make the roster. Since the team will not carry a fullback, they have an extra spot to carry a player at another position. He told the media that they would keep "probably five, four or five" running backs.
Would he really keep five running backs?
Considering the potential production in all five players, you can see why, but you also wonder if it would be taking away depth at other positions.
More from Revenge of the Birds:
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- Arizona Cardinals training camp: Kerry Taylor taking knowledge, opportunity from NFL journey
- 5 questions about the Arizona Cardinals for Football Outsiders
- Carson Palmer 'comfortable with being uncomfortable,' doesn't sound like QB fading into sunset
- Arizona Cardinals training camp schedule for Preseason Week 1
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