The Rams’ fifth-round pick is poised to see his first game action as a professional.
Prior to running a 4.65 40-yard dash, Kyren Williams appeared firmly in the mix to be one of the first running backs off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft.
However, with his athletic testing numbers not up to standard, Williams fell all the way to the fifth round, where the Los Angeles Rams selected him with the No. 164 overall pick.
Focusing more on what Williams can do than what he can’t, the Rams added one of the draft’s premiere pass-blocking running backs who also shines as a receiving option out of the backfield. Elite athlete or not, Williams’ film was that of a player worthy of being drafted much higher than the fifth round.
Joining a running back’s room that has an established duo at the top in Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson, Williams entered the offseason program looking to earn snaps but saw his time on the field cut short due to a broken foot suffered in OTAs.
With Los Angeles choosing to take the rehab process slowly, the former Notre Dame star has missed the first two preseason games, but coach Sean McVay announced that Williams will see action in the joint practices and preseason finale against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“He’s going to participate for sure in the joint practices and the goal is for him to play in the game too,” McVay said Monday. “He and Jake (Funk) have really carried a lot of the workload. It’s getting closer and closer, and the sense of urgency needs to continually increase for us.”
Williams’ uptick in action comes as uncertainty surrounds the status of Akers and Henderson, who are dealing with soft-tissue injuries. Per McVay, the Rams are in a wait-and-see mode with the two running backs regarding whether or not they participate in any form against Cincinnati
“I think we’re just taking it a day at a time,” said McVay. “I know (Akers and Henderson) want to be out here, so do we. We want them out there and they need to be able to get out there and get the work, but not at the expense of setting themselves back even further. It truly is kind of a day-to-day thing with them.”
Last week, McVay said that he expects Williams to be a “big part” of the Rams’ title-defending season. Now almost fully up to speed, the time is now for Williams to prove he’s up for the challenge.
You can follow Daniel Flick on Twitter @DFlickDraft
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