The Cardinals’ already embattled ground game has taken a severe blow with the announcement that running back Ryan Williams is out for the season with a left shoulder injury that will need surgery.
The Arizona Cardinals already are without Beanie Wells until at least Thanksgiving weekend as a result of a severe turf toe injury.
The hard-luck Williams missed all of his rookie season a year ago with a torn patella tendon. He injured his shoulder on a hard hit during last Thursday night’s loss at St. Louis.
The Cardinals are 4-1 despite of their virtual lack of any ground game. They rank 31st out of 32 NFL teams in yards rushing per game at 63.4. Only Oakland’s 60.8 is worse.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt revealed the extent of the injury in his brief meeting with reporters following the team’s light workout on Monday.
”The schedule for recovery is probably 3 months, so that puts him out for the season,” Whisenhunt said.
Asked if the team would look to bring in a RB from somewhere else, he said, ”We’ll look and see.”
”I feel good about the guys that we’ve got,” the coach declared. ”We’re always going to look to get good at every position. If that chance is there, then we’ll certainly attempt to act on it.” Basketball spreads
Arizona opened the season believing that its ground game would be strength with Wells and Williams providing a solid 1-2 punch. Now that punch is down to 0-0.
”That’s the NFL,” Whisenhunt announced. ”Teams have to fight through adversity and keep going. We’ve done a great job of the first 5 weeks of the season, and now we’ve got another challenge, but that’s OK. We’ll work through it.”
Wells was off to a slow start as he recovered from knee surgery, and then went down with the toe injury in week 3 against Philadelphia. The Cardinals placed him on the NFL’s new injury reserve/designated for return list. That rule requires Wells to miss the next 5 games. He can return for Arizona’s home game against St. Louis on November 25.
Williams, a 2nd-round draft pick from Virginia Tech in 2011, moved into the No. 1 running back spot and had a strong 2nd half against the Eagles. But he and any other RB who carried the ball has had a tough time in the 2 games since that point as the Cardinals managed 28 yards rushing in an overtime victory over Miami, followed by 45 in Thursday night’s 17-3 loss to the St. Louis Rams.
Williams, who did not take an NFL snap last season, had gained 164 yards in 56 attempts, an average of just 2.8 yards per carry. He has caught 7 passes for 44 yards.
”I feel horrible for Ryan,” Whisenhunt said, ”but what I told Ryan when we sat down was that at least he won’t need to deal with it through an offseason. He’ll be well placed to go thru the offseason program. He’ll be in a position to go through practices which will get him in better shape and ready to go next year.”