What could be one of the biggest reasons behind the Cardinals struggles offensively after two pre-season games may be the fact that their top two running backs have not seen any action.
Now at Cards Camp in Flagstaff, that notion is changing slowly but surely.
Cardinals fourth year running back Beanie Wells is off the PUP list and is fully participating in practice. He hadn’t participated in any off-season activity thus far incluing OTA’s and mini-camps and is anxious to get out onto the field.
“I went through warm-up’s last week and it just felt great to be in a team atmosphere and to be preparing for a game,” Wells expressed.
Wells, who is still showing a visible limp on his right knee despite the great improvements it has made, further mentioned that it is important to him that he participates in a pre-season game or two even if it is for just one carry.
“It’s just as far as me going out there and taking a hit,” Wells added. “If it would just be one play, I just need to get out there and take a hit.”
Second year running back Ryan Williams, who has been brought along slowly, looks to get his first ever carries as a Cardinal on Friday night against the Raiders. He believes he is 90-95% healthy at this point.
“There are still some things I would like to work out,” said Williams. “My quad is still not as strong as I would like it to be even though it’s strong enough to play. But I still have got some time before the season starts.”
Like Wells, Williams wants to get out onto the field and get that first hit out of the way so he can move on and show he will be ok.
“I just need one of those hits, for some one to land on my leg or something like that just to get that blocked out and say ok my leg is fine, I can take that kind of aggressiveness,” mentioned Williams. “Hopefully I get that in this Friday.”
Barring any set-backs, Williams will get touches in Friday’s game will the Raiders as mentioned by Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt on Monday. It has been a long and slow-moving road for Williams which is something he knew going into his rehab work. But now he feels he is starting to recognize the old him again.
“Everybody I talked too with this injury said it was a little over a year before they started feeling like themselves,” Williams explained. “It hasn’t even been a year yet for me so I am already starting to feel like myself. So just a little bit more time and a little bit more things to work out.”
The Cardinals will be eager yet cautious to get Wells and Williams out on the field for game action. A strong running attack from a healthy Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams could even prove to be helpful for another position battle on this roster between two quarterbacks.