Ryan Williams Injury Makes Cardinals' RB William Powell Fantasy-Relevant

Jamal CollierAnalyst IIIOctober 8, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 30:  Running back William Powell #33 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football during the NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 30, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Carindals defeated the Dolphins 24-21 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Everybody’s fantasy darling at running back in Arizona will have to wait another year to get his NFL career off of the ground. Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com reports that Ryan Williams of the Arizona Cardinals will miss the rest of his sophomore season with an injured shoulder.

Williams missed his entire rookie year with an Achilles injury.

He suffered the shoulder injury on Thursday night against the Rams, likely on the play that safety Darian Stewart hit him hard enough to leave him motionless on the field for what seemed like a couple of minutes.

Fortunately, Williams got up and walked off of the field that night.

The injury to Williams comes as a big blow to the Cardinals as the team’s incumbent starter, Beanie Wells, is already on the injured reserve list (with designation to return in late November).

That leaves second-year man William Powell as the next man up for Arizona.

Powell didn’t see any regular-season action in 2011; instead, he was a practice squad guy for the Cardinals who rushed for 60 yards on 29 carries in Week 4 of the preseason.

He fared better in the preseason this time around, participating in all five of the Cardinals’ contests (including the Hall of Fame game against the New Orleans Saints).

Powell ran well, gaining 249 rushing yards on 42 carries during the preseason. That’s an average of 5.9 yards per tote. He also scored three rushing touchdowns before the regular season got underway.

In this regular season, Powell has played in the Cardinals’ last two games, getting just three carries for nine yards and fumbling the football once. But he caught five balls for 26 yards.

For the time being, Powell probably gives Arizona its best chance to win from the tailback position. He’s worth a pickup in fantasy football and with a looming matchup with the Buffalo Bills, could even be a spot-starter in Week 6.

Buffalo gave up 451 rushing yards and five touchdowns to opposing running backs in just its last two games.

That includes 100-yard days to Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden of the New England Patriots and Frank Gore of the San Francisco 49ers.