Kerwynn Williams Named Cardinals Starting RB After David Johnson Injury

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 01:  Running back Kerwynn Williams #33 of the Arizona Cardinals carries the ball against the Los Angeles Rams in the second quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians named Kerwynn Williams his starting running back Wednesday after David Johnson suffered a wrist injury in their season-opening loss to the Detroit Lions

Arians told reporters Andre Ellington will be Williams' backup and newly re-signed Chris Johnson will also get carries as their third-string back.

David Johnson, who broke out last season as one of the best all-around backs in the sport, went down with a wrist injury that's expected to keep him out at least two months. The Cardinals placed him on injured reserve and brought back Chris Johnson—who was released as part of 53-man roster cuts—on Tuesday. 

“It’s always a huge blow to lose a top player," Arians told reporters. "But it’s not the end of the world. We’ve got quality guys on our team and it’s an opportunity for somebody to step up. David Johnson became David Johnson because of somebody’s injury.”

Williams, in his fourth NFL season out of Utah, has 103 carries for 555 yards during his pro career. He has never recorded any more than 54 carries in a season.

The Cardinals will likely use something of a committee approach here, even with Williams slated to start. Ellington is an obvious third-down back who excels catching the ball out of the backfield. Chris Johnson and Williams could wind up splitting work on first and second downs if the former looks strong when given opportunities the next couple weeks.