The Green Bay Packers have yet another candidate for injured reserve.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Packers are expected to lose running back Dexter Williams for at least three weeks due to an MCL sprain he suffered during Week 9’s win in San Francisco. He had been elevated from the practice squad Thursday with both AJ Dillon and Jamaal Williams stuck on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
#Packers RB Dexter Williams, elevated from the practice squad on Thursday following COVID-19 issues, is out at least three weeks with an MCL sprain, source said following his MRI. That makes him a candidate for Injured Reserve.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 7, 2020
The 2019 sixth-round pick seemed poised for the most meaningful opportunities of his young career against the 49ers, but he managed just two carries for eight yards before getting hurt in the first half. Now, after reverting back to the practice squad, Williams could likely be headed for a stint on injured reserve.
No official transactions were made immediately for Williams, but his departure to IR would make available one spot on the Packers’ practice squad.
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Injury Costs Williams Opportunity
The Packers had counted Williams as the fifth running back in their rotation and do not figure to lose much from their rushing attack in his absence, especially with the other Williams and Dillon likely to return before Week 10’s game against Jacksonville. Finding a replacement for him on the practice squad — assuming he’ll go on IR — also shouldn’t pose much of a challenge with how often the Packers host free-agent workouts.
Williams nearly played an important role for the Packers on Thursday night, though, with Jones’ status considered questionable until shortly before kickoff. If he hadn’t been able to play, Williams would have been promoted to No. 2 in the rotation behind Ervin after playing most of his career in garbage time for the Packers.
Even with Jones cleared, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said he had intended to give Williams more late-game opportunities if the score was in an ideal place (which it was), but the injury forced them to be less conservative with their star due to depth.
“Especially when we got into the fourth quarter, we did not want to put (in) Aaron Jones coming off what he had and then Tyler Ervin,” LaFleur told reporters Friday. “Both of those guys are so important to us. Moving forward, it was going to be a good opportunity to see Dexter in there and instead I think that happened right before halftime, some time in the second quarter, so you got to see John Lovett make his debut at halfback.”