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RB Kerwynn Williams - Arizona Cardinals

5-8, 195Born: 6-9-1991College: Utah StateDrafted: Round 7

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Recent Stats and Projections

17 at SEA 36 23 75 0 1 1 6 0 0 8.1

Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 17 vs SEA (23 / 75 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)

By the end of the afternoon, Williams' yards-per-carry average dipped well below any impressive benchmark, and none of his box-score statistics does a great job painting a picture of Williams' day on Sunday. Kerwynn was simply fantastic, specifically in the first half, as the diminutive running back consistently snapped off positive plays, leaving an under-manned offense in good position all afternoon. Williams strong and shifty running never found the end zone, but consistently in manageable down and distance situations all day, while converting plenty of first downs in the process. With a new staff and system, Williams' role going forward will remain just as precarious as it has been the entirety of his Cardinals career, but the tape he put forth in 2017 should absolutely be enough to have him strongly in contention as the team's #2 running back next season.

2017 Week 16 vs NYG (16 / 51 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)

Williams and the run game did little more than provide a sense of balance for the Cardinals offense on Sunday. Collectively falling well short of 100 rushing yards as a team, Williams' 51 yards alone comprised the vast majority of the team's rushing total on Sunday, and even that was primarily accomplished through a 21-yard run, the team's long of the day. Neither offense, and specifically neither offense's run game did much on Sunday, a credit to both team's atrophied offensive and active defensive lines. What Williams did most impressively on Sunday was absorb hits and continue to move forward. It is not a trait often associated with Williams, nor is it apparent in his box score, but the Cardinals offense is one that needs every inch of grass and momentum to see success, and on Sunday Williams managed to provide both when the team needed it.

2017 Week 15 vs WAS (17 / 61 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

The run game was a lone bright spot early in Sunday's game, with the Cardinals finding a lot of success early running between the tackles. Williams was the primary ball carrier early on, notching the majority of his 17 carriers all before half. But the pain of the broken ribs he had been playing with became too much, forcing Elijah Penny to finish out the contest. Collectively their numbers were not bad, producing over 100-yards on a hair shy of 4-yards-per-carry, but trailing early and often prevented a full commitment to the run game, and Gabbert's inability to provide much through the air left for a fairly unbalanced attack. Williams is an easy player to root for and his performance through the struggles of the last several weeks a lone bright spot. It would be shame to see him have to sit out the remainder of the season as well.

2017 Week 14 vs TEN (20 / 73 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 15 / 0 rec)

While 77 yards on fewer than 4 yards-per-carry likely does not qualify as a "bright spot", Kerwynn Williams was the closest to that the Cardinals offense had on Sunday. For the second straight week, the diminutive running back has found was to keep the Cardinals offense moving forward. Often in little burst, but rarely backward, Williams has become an offensive crutch for a team struggling through the air. Despite not having the team's longest run of the day, Chad Williams 33-yard end around provided that, but his ability to keep the offense moving forward allowed for easier conversions and manageable 3rd downs for Gabbert, which proved vital for all of those second-half field goal drives. The Cardinals won Sunday via a death of a thousand cuts, and Kerwynn Williams was often holding the blade.

2017 Week 13 vs LAR (16 / 97 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Filling in for the injured Adrian Peterson, Williams did what he has often done in a backup role for this team; step in and produce. That has not always been the case for Kerwynn when the coaching staff has made a concerted effort to involve him in game plans, but when he is forced into a starting role due to injury, he has generally found success. While it was Elijah Williams who scored the team's lone rushing touchdown, Kerwynn was the engine of the offense all afternoon. Often doing his damage running behind the left-side of the line, Williams showed burst, elusiveness and determination as a runner, falling just shy of an 100 yard game. It is nothing we have not seen from Williams before, making him a known asset, but not someone who should be expected to build on Sunday's quality start.

2017 Week 3 vs DAL (1 / 3 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

After a more balance split in the running back rotation in Week 2, Williams was the clear No.3 back against Dallas. Williams saw a single offensive snap, a wildcat rushing attempt against Dallas, in addition to special teams work. With Chris Johnson as the early-down back and Andre Ellington seeing a heavy rate of the late-game snaps in catch-up mode, Williams needs another injury on the depth chart for expanded opportunity going forward.

2017 Week 1 vs DET (5 / 10 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)

Despite the glory of scoring a touchdown, Williams did not a fare any better than Johnson when running against the Detroit defense on Sunday. Whether the team looks for additional help outside in the event of a long-term injury to Johnson remains to be seen, but Williams will serve as the primary back in that situation. Williams has seen success in games in which he has been more prominently featured, but with the Cardinals offensive line looking so ineffective, it is hard to imagine anyone having much success running behind it.


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