The Arizona Cardinals have lost Ryan Williams for the rest of the season to a shoulder injury that will require surgery. Replacing Ryan Williams may seem like a daunting task, but losing his 2.8 yards per carry and zero rushing touchdowns is not as bad as it may seem. Arizona has been terrible this year running the ball. Some of the blame for that goes to the offensive line, but Williams has a distressing tendency to dance around behind the line and try to break runs outside, which results in losses more often than not. Williams was the feature back in Arizona before his injury, now Coach Ken Whisenhunt plans to platoon the three running backs left on the roster to replace him. LaRod Stevens-Howling is coming back healthy, and looks forward to taking his spot in shotgun sets and as third down running back. William Powell, who led the preseason in rushing, will get a chance to prove himself as an NFL quality back. Lastly, Alfonso Smith is back, cut in the preseason after losing his spot to Powell, Smith knows the Arizona system well and looks to contribute in the Cardinals depth deprived backfield.
Arizona Cardinals Running Game Takes Another Blow As Ryan Williams Declared Out For Remainder of Season
The Arizona Cardinals have been dealt yet another crushing blow to their already anaemic ground game as Ryan Williams has been ruled out for the remainder of the season according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Williams suffered a shoulder injury during Thursday night's loss to the St. Louis Rams.
Williams initially indicated that he felt okay immediately following the game, and appeared confident that he would not be limited. Williams, it seemed needed to remain positive, after he missed the entirety of his rookie season due to a knee injury.
However, further examinations appear to have revealed more significant damage which will need surgery to correct. Though specific details were limited, Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt indicated that the injury has a recovery timetable of around three months, ending his season.
It was not only the Cardinals perfect record that was put to an end during their loss to the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night. Jay Feely's perfect season also came crashing down when he missed a very makable 40 yard field goal late in the second quarter.
Feely's miss was almost unfathomably costly.
The game would certainly have had a very different feel at 7-6 coming out of the half. Worse still, the missed field goal early in the game robbed Feely of a shot of redemption later.
Playing from behind as they were, the Cardinals were forced to attempt not one, but two fourth down attempts in the red zone later in the game, both of which failed. Both attempts would have been practicality gimme's for Feely had the game been a little closer.
Now, Feely has an unusually long wait before his next game. He has already been forced to face two days of scrutiny, and still has more than a full week to allow the miss to play on his mind.
The Arizona Cardinals entered Thursday night's game against the St. Louis Rams as some of the golden boys of the NFL, hoping, and likely believing that they would enter their mini-bye week at 5-0. Though no-one ever expected the game to be a cake-walk, the general consensus amongst the media, fans and team appeared to be that the Cardinals could, and should, leave the prime-time showdown with thier divisional rivals victorious.
What they got, however, was a wake up call, and brutal reminder of why the NFC West may just be the toughest division in the NFL.
The game was ugly for both teams, and the 17-3 scoreline barely tells the story of just how well, and how badly both teams performed in various phases of the game.
Whenever a team loses a game, much of the blame immediately falls at the feet of the quarterback, especially when that quarterback failed to post any touchdowns on three trips into the red zone.
Both the San Francisco 49ers (3-1) and Buffalo Bills (2-2) came in to the season with a fair amount of hype. The 49ers had brought back its number-one ranked defense by signing key players such as Ahmad Brooks and Carlos Rogers to contract extensions. Meanwhile, the Bills had the off season’s biggest splash, signing premier free agent Mario Williams to a 100 million dollar deal.
The 49ers thus far have had a fair amount of success, recently crushing the New York Jets 34-0 and allowing ESPN to talk about the Sanchez-Tebow controversy for another week. The Bills have had a rocky start to their season by beating teams they were supposed to beat but losing horrendously to superior teams. Their big free agent has thus far not been a factor.
This Sunday the Bills visit the 49ers at Candlestick and hope to pull off an upset, while the 49ers hope to start another win streak. Here are five key factors to look out for.