The injury that Ryan Williams suffered in the third quarter of the Green Bay Packers 28-20 victory over the Arizona Cardinals has abruptly changed how we look at the running back situation. When Williams was taken in the second round by the Cardinals, speculation ran rampant about whether or not one of the backs from 2010 (Beanie Wells or Tim Hightower) would be moved.
At first, it looked as if keeping Williams and the other two was going to be a possibility. However, Hightower was traded to the Washington Redskins on the second day of training camp.
It was no surprise. He was a restricted free agent and was not near as effective in 2010 as he was the previous two years. In fact, I did not sense much resistance at to the trade. In return the Cardinals get a conditional late-round 2012draft pick and defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday, who will provide effective veteran depth at a position in which it was needed.
That still left Beanie and Williams, who many believe was the best back in this year's draft. But now, with Williams likely out for the season, Arizona only has three RBs -- Wells, LaRod Stephens-Howling and 2010 practice squad player Alphonso Smith.
Instead of being a position of potential strength, the position is now a bit of concern because if Beanie were to miss any time at all, there is no one on the roster that has shown that he is a number one back.
LSH is a good back in certain situations and the coaching staff is happy with Smith's development, but Beanie is now it.
Looking back, while I understand the trade because of the need for D-line help and the fact that Hightower inevitably would have left after this season, giving the Cards no compensation, I would have kept him on the team. Likely one would have been pushed out of the rotation, but at least if one were to go down like Williams did on Friday, the running game would still be in good hands.
The question you is now this -- do you think the Cardinals should have held on to Hightower? Obviously it is impossible to foresee a season-ending injury, but if you had a do over, would you have kept him around for another year?
I would have.