Jamaal Williams

Latest On Packers RB Jamaal Williams

Although he went down on Thursday night, Packers running back Jamaal Williams did not suffer any ligament damage in his knee, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Williams “could” miss Green Bay’s next game — which doesn’t occur until October 8 — but is unlikely to be sidelined for any additional action.Jamaal Williams (Vertical)

Williams, a fourth-round rookie out of BYU, took over the Packers’ starting running back job last night after Ty Montgomery suffered broken ribs. However, Williams was dealt his own injury blow after playing only 12 offensive snaps. In that time, the 22-year-old rushed four times for 11 yards and caught his only target for two yards. On the season, Williams has posted nine carries for 32 yards.

While there hasn’t been a medical update on Montgomery, he seems likely to miss time, so rookie Aaron Jones could handle the lion’s share of carries in Green Bay’s next contest. Devante Mays — the third running back drafted by the Packers in 2017 — will likely be active when the Packers face the Cowboys in Week 5, while fullback Aaron Ripkowski will also ply a large role. A free agent addition can’t be ruled out, although the need for an external option may be reduced given William’s optimistic timeline.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC North Notes: Packers, Adams, Bears

Packers wideout Davante Adams was taken to the hospital on Thursday night following a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit from Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan, but “everything is progressing well” for Adams, according to head coach Mike McCarthy“He’s already giving them a hard time at the hospital to get out of there so that’s a great sign,” McCarthy said, per Curtis Crabrtee of Pro Football Talk. Adams suffered a concussion but his MRI is “clean,” per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Trevathan, meanwhile, earned a 15-yard personal foul for the hit but wasn’t ejected from last night’s game. The play is under review by the NFL, however, and Trevathan could be subject to a suspension, tweets Rapoport.

Here’s more from the NFC North, with a focus on Thursday Night Football:

  • Starting running back Ty Montgomery left last night’s contest early after suffering broken ribs, and the Packers are also down their No. 2 runner in Jamaal Williams, who is believed to have sprained his knee on Thursday, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Williams will likely miss time, meaning Green Bay will now lean on rookies Aaron Jones and Devante Mays in the backfield. While the Packers could conceivably get by with Jones, Mays, and fullback Aaron Ripkowski, the club will almost certainly add another back. Green Bay doesn’t have a running back on its practice squad, so it could look to a free agent market that includes DeAngelo Williams, Rashad Jennings, C.J. Spiller, and Ryan Mathews.
  • Bears quarterback Mike Glennon struggled on Thursday, tossing one touchdown against two interceptions while losing two fumbles, but head coach John Fox didn’t immediately commit to making a change under center, as Crabtree writes in a separate piece“We need to make a lot of changes,” Fox said. “We’ll evaluate everything. We’ve got a lot of work to do before we line up against Minnesota Monday night and we’re going to look at everything.” Chicago, of course, signed Glennon to a three-year, $45MM contract this offseason that contains $18.5MM guaranteed, but also moved up to the No. 2 overall pick to select UNC’s Mitch Trubisky. The Bears have an extended break before facing the Vikings on October 9.
  • After being benched at the start of the second half of last night’s contest, Packers cornerback Damarious Randall wasn’t on the sideline for the rest of the game and also wasn’t present in the post-game locker room, report Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Although McCarthy called the issue an “internal matter,” Demovsky speculates Randall could potentially be suspended or even waived. A second-round pick in 2015, Randall has thus far graded as a bottom-15 NFL cornerback, according to Pro Football Focus.
  • Former Packers long snapper Brett Goode received a four-week injury settlement, while fullback Joe Kerridge got three weeks, according to veteran NFL reporter Bob McGinn (Twitter links). Both players must wait three weeks plus the length of their respective settlements before they’re eligible to re-sign with Green Bay.

NFC Notes: Morris, Packers, Lions, Bradberry

Alfred Morris only played 112 snaps during his first season with the Cowboys, and Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com writes that the veteran running back’s future with the organization “remains murky.”

According to the writer, the Cowboys believe Morris has more success when he has more carries, but that isn’t a possibility in Dallas. Ezekiel Elliott should see even more responsibility in his second NFL season, and the team also re-signed veteran Darren McFadden this offseason.

Despite the uncertainty, running backs coach Gary Brown said the 28-year-old continues to keep his head high.

“Straight pro,” he said. “Doesn’t talk about it. Doesn’t mention it. Comes out has fun with it. Enjoys being around his teammates. That’s the kind of guys you need.”

As Williams points out, Morris is set to make $1.2MM next season and count for $2.14MM against the cap. While that would seemingly make him expendable, Brown said he’d love to keep all of his players.

“You just don’t know from year to year what’s going to happen, so you try to keep as many great players around as you can and then the business takes over after that,” Brown said. “Obviously, we would like everybody to stay, but that’s not realistic. We’ve got to make sure we’re training everybody, and we’re covering all our bases, and let whatever happens happen.”

Let’s take a look at some other notes from around the NFC…

  • Packers running back Jamaal Williams‘ four-year rookie contract includes a $565,992 signing bonus, and ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky notes that that’s the only guaranteed money in the deal. The fourth-rounder’s contract could be worth up to $2.96MM, and Williams is set to earn a base salary of $465K in 2017.
  • If he isn’t looking for a lucrative contract, then ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein believes free agent wideout Jeremy Maclin would be a logical fit for the Lions. The hypothetical acquisition would allow the team to roll a versatile three-wideout set that could include any combination of Marvin Jones, Golden Tate, and/or tight end Eric Ebron. Rothstein also points to the relative experience among the team’s other wide receivers.
  • Panthers cornerback James Bradberry fractured his left wrist today and will be in a cast for the next six weeks, reports Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter). Head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion told Max Henson of Panthers.com that the defensive back could still participate in next week’s minicamp, and he’s expected to be fully recovered in time for training camp. The 2016 second-round pick started 13 games for the Panthers last season, compiling 59 tackles and two interceptions.
  • Former Minnesota Gophers linebacker Jack Lynn is “close” to signing with the Falcons, reports Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (via Twitter). The four-year player finished his collegiate career with 77 tackles and 0.5 sacks in 13 games.

Draft Pick Signings: 6/1/17

The latest NFL rookies to put pen to paper on their first contracts:

  • The Saints signed their two third-round picks, linebacker Alex Anzalone (pick No. 76) and defensive end Trey Hendrickson (No. 103), as well as sixth-round DE Al-Quadin Muhammad (No. 196) on Thursday (via Anzalone’s Twitter account and Herbie Teope of NOLA.com). Thanks in part to shoulder injuries, Anzalone didn’t pick up significant playing time at Florida until last season, when he totaled 53 tackles and three sacks. Despite his relatively modest output with the Gators, Anzalone has the talent to be a three-down starter in the pros, per Lance Zierlein of NFL.com. Hendrickson, meanwhile, was quite productive at Florida Atlantic, where he tallied 41 tackles for loss and 29.5 sacks from 2013-16. Most of the damage came over the previous two years, as Hendrickson combined for 30 TFL and 23 sacks in that span. Muhammad, yet another prospect who played his college ball at a Florida-based institution (Miami), is coming off a troubled tenure with the Hurricanes. He missed all of 2014 on account of a suspension stemming from an altercation and then incurred yet another ban last year, one that led to his dismissal from Miami, for a violation of NCAA rules. The last time Muhammad took the field, in 2015, he put up 54 tackles (8.5 for loss) and five sacks.
  • The Packers have signed fourth-round running back Jamaal Williams (No. 134), leaving only one of their 10 picks – third-round defensive tackle Montravius Adamswithout a contract. Williams, the first of three running backs the Packers drafted this year, was a two-time 1,200-yard rusher at BYU. He finished his Cougars tenure with a career year in 2016, amassing 1,375 rushing yards (with a 5.9 yards-per-carry average) and 12 touchdowns in 10 games.