The Atlanta Falcons have moved on from veteran running back Damien Williams.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the news on Monday, Dec. 12.
The good news is, Williams is “100% healthy,” per Schefter, and would make a solid addition to a team in need of some running back depth as the post-season creeps up.
Williams Never Found a Home in Atlanta’s Rushing Room
Before the Falcons inked a new contract with Cordarrelle Patterson and moved on from Mike Davis, the team was in search of running back help, which is what led them to Williams.
Atlanta signed Williams to a one-year deal back in March during the NFL’s free agency period.
Before joining the Falcons, the 30-year-old had played a key role in helping the Kansas City Chiefs win the 2020 Super Bowl as the first player ever with 100+ rushing yards, plus a rushing and receiving touchdown in a Super Bowl.
He then spent 2021 with the Chicago Bears, where he carried the ball only 40 times during his lone season with the Bears, however, he averaged 4.1 yards per rush. He also added 16 catches for 103 yards and a score in the air.
The Falcons clearly took notice of his dual-threat abilities and likely hoped to revive him back to his Super Bowl days, but that ended up not being the case.
Unfortunately for Williams, he landed on injured reserve.
Williams Landed on IR in Week 2
Williams went down with a rib injury after a 300-pound lineman fell on him as he landed on a football during the first play of the Falcons’ second drive of their Week 1 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.
“An ugly sight,” Williams said Monday following the Falcons’ 27-26 loss to the Saints, via ESPN. “It’s a part of the game. You have to take the bruises. Get up and shake it off.”
While Williams shook it off on the outside, he was feeling the pain on the inside.
“You ever had a time when you couldn’t breathe,” Williams said. “I was trying to find it. In that moment, and then you have your pads and everything squeezing on you. When the trainers came out there, I was like, get me up now.”
Williams mentioned that it was not the first time he hurt his ribs during a game before. He also noted that knew he didn’t break his rib because he did that as a child and you could hear a crack and he didn’t hear a crack that time.
He even went back in for a brief moment before returning to the sidelines and finished the day with two yards on two carries.
It’s a heartbreaking story for Williams, who was ultimately expected to be the lead back next to re-signed Cordarrelle Patterson.
But, that ended up not being the case because as soon as Williams went down in Week 1, Patterson took over and finished the day with a career-high 22 carries for 120 yards against the Saints––which, once again, made him the team’s No. 1 running back for the second-straight season.
Not to mention the fact that young backs Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley stepped up during Williams’ absence, making his return ever more difficult.
In his eight-year career so far (he opted out in 2020 due the pandemic), Williams has played in 98 games logging 336 carries for 1,397 yards and 14 touchdowns.