Over the past two weeks, things have gone from bad to worse to disastrous in the Arizona backfield.
First the Cardinals placed Beanie Wells on the designated-to-return injured reserve list in late September, due to a case of turf toe. Then on Monday, we learned that Beanie's understudy Ryan Williams will miss the remainder of the year with a shoulder injury.
Details right here, via the Arizona Republic:
Williams, who injured the shoulder in Arizona's 17-3 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Thursday, will require season-ending surgery, coach Ken Whisenhunt said Monday.
It's the second straight year Williams has been hurt. He missed all off his rookie year after tearing his patellar tendon in the preseason.
"The timetable for recovery is three months. That puts him at the end of the season," Whisenhunt said.
Terrible, terrible news. Williams had a long road back following the knee injury, but he'd made it ... and now this. Brutal.
The next men up in the Arizona backfield are presumably LaRod Stephens-Howling and William Powell, but those two are also dealing with injuries of as-yet-unknown severity (hip for LSH, head for Powell). Realistically, the Cards are going to have to kick the tires on veteran free agents, guys like Steve Slaton, Ryan Torain, Tim Hightower, and ... well, whoever else can be found on the discard pile. Nobody you'll like, that's for sure.
Arizona has a terrific match-up ahead in Week 6, hosting Buffalo (5.7 YPC allowed). But the Cardinals' O-line is arguably the league's worst. There's no obvious reason for optimism where this running game is concerned, and the team's end-of-season slate is ridiculously tough. Just check the schedule in Weeks 13-17: at NY Jets, at Seattle, vs. Detroit, vs. Chicago, at San Francisco.
So that's not too friendly. Avoid this mess if you can. And keep a good thought for Williams, who's facing another extended recovery.
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