RB Ryan Williams needs surgery on his shoulder and is out for the season, Whiz said.— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) October 8, 2012
UPDATE: Tuesday, October 9 at 11:52 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
Ryan Williams was officially placed on season-ending injured reserve, according to Arizona Cardinals beat writer Darren Urban.
Cardinals put RB Ryan Williams on IR, officially ending his season, and re-sign CB Crezdon Butler. #AZCards— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) October 9, 2012
---END OF UPDATE---
Williams suffered the injury during the team's Week 5 loss to the St. Louis Rams. It ends a disappointing season for the second-year Virginia Tech product, who was forced to miss his entire rookie campaign due to a knee injury.
A popular choice to have a breakout season in a backfield alongside Beanie Wells, who is also sidelined with a toe injury, Williams struggled mightily. He averaged less than three yards per carry and didn't score a touchdown in five games.
Now he faces another long road to recovery, further sapping the hope he would eventually become the dynamic backfield weapon the Cardinals have been seeking. It's never a good sign when a young player earns the injury-prone label.
With both Williams and Wells out, the Arizona running back situation is a mess. Among the backups, LaRod Stephens-Howling has 12 carries for just one yard and William Powell has three carries for nine yards, but Powell suffered an injury of his own against the Rams.
The only other option on the roster is Alfonso Smith, whose production has been limited to one 13-yard catch last week. He did have 102 rushing yards and a touchdown in limited action last season, and probably has the most upside of the three choices.
So even though Williams wasn't performing at a high level, his absence obviously poses some problems for the Cardinals coaching staff, which is watching the momentum from the team's 4-0 start slip away rapidly.
Since there's no timetable for Wells' return, it will be up to Stephens-Howling, Powell and Smith to carry the load. It's not a promising situation.