The depth of the Falcons’ running game will be somewhat tested over the next few weeks. The team announced on Saturday that Damien Williams was placed on IR with a rib injury, meaning he will miss at least the next four games.
Williams, 30, spent the first four years of his career in Miami. He operated strictly as a spin rusher and special teamer, never logging a start. A much more productive two-year stint in Kansas City followed, where he racked up over 1,100 scrimmage yards and 13 total touchdowns. The former UDFA posted less impressive numbers last season with the Bears.
As a free agent, Williams signed a one-year deal with the Falcons, whose front office now includes the former Bears general manager. Ryan Pace. This provided the team with an experienced full-back to compensate for the departure of Mike Davis, following his release. In his Falcons debut last week against the Saints, Williams received just a pair of carries and totaled two yards.
Atlanta will be able to move forward with Cordarelle Patterson like their lead in Williams’ absence, of course, but they will now rely exclusively on inexperienced options below him on the depth chart. Fifth round 2021 Avery Williams, as well as recruits Tyler Allgeier and practice team elevation Caleb Huntley will work as Patterson’s replacements on Sunday.
With 120 rushing yards and a touchdown in the team’s season opener, Patterson may not need much support when the Falcons visit the Rams, or in future games after that. If he does, however, the team will be missing out on one of its most experienced offensive contributors.