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Arizona Cardinals training camp: Dan Williams with swollen knee, but ready to 'hold it down' at NT

The veteran nose tackle feels he is more than capable of doing the job with out the injured Ta'amu.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

At Sunday's practice, Arizona Cardinals nose tackle Dan Williams disappeared off the practice field at some point. It  was later reported that Williams left practice with a swollen knee. More information will come later this morning when Bruce Arians talks to the media after Monday morning's walkthrough.

However, Williams suffered a knee injury (and an ankle injury) in training camp last year and missed only a few practices and it didn't affect his playing time during the season.

Hopefully it will not be anything serious because the team can ill afford to have Williams out, as they are already missing Alameda Ta'amu, who is recovering from a torn ACL. Ta'amu is targeting a return to practice after the second preseason game and starting the regular season healthy.

But Williams is more than ready to handle things while Ta'mu recovers. The two essentially split snaps (15-17 each per game) in the base defense.

Williams spoke to the media on Saturday after the team's morning walkthrough and he was asked if he felt any extra weight on his shoulders with Ta'amu out.

"Honestly I believe, even before 'Meda came here, I‘ve been more than capable of taking all the responsibility, but also having a great player like ‘Meda to play with there with me is an added bonus and you get a little more rest," he answered. "But I've been ready for the challenge since I've been here. Honestly just been really waiting for the opportunity to play more and do more for the team."

Williams has been limited to base defense packages for the most part since he was drafted. He accepts that, but would like to do more. So the idea of his having to play more snaps while Ta'amu is out.

Williams said he and his injured teammate grew close over the last year and has already told him to just worry about getting healthy. He has things under control.

"I'm going to be able to hold it down until he gets back," he said.

Williams is confident and ready. He has been effective. He is also in a contract year. He's ready for the challenge. Hopefully the knee injury isn't going to be too much of a stepback.