Prediction: Karlos Williams’ days are numbered in Buffalo.
It’s the time of the year where there are multiple jobs up for grabs. Should Karlos Williams be worried about being on the hot seat?
The fifth round draft pick from the 2015 NFL Draft didn’t have the offseason the Bills anticipated for. The second year player couldn’t show up physically ready for mini-camp and is set to serve a four-game suspension for breaking the NFL’s substance policy.
Williams was hit hard with the freshman fifteen when he showed up to mini-camp overweight and out of shape, and Rex Ryan was not pleased with the way the sophomore was treating himself.
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“Obviously he’s not anywhere close to where he needs to play at a high level,” Ryan told The Democrat and Chronicle. “So we’ve got to get some weight off him and he certainly understands that. You guys can see him as well as I do; he’s clearly overweight. You wish that he was in much better shape, there’s no question about it. I think in the future I’m sure he’s got to realize that what he did this offseason is far from what you want. He’s a young guy, hopefully he’ll learn from it.”
Williams then tested positive for drug use a couple of weeks later causing him to miss the first four games of the regular season. Ryan likes to give players second chances, but defending the fifth round pick is starting to get a bit tough for the head coach to handle. There are many suitable backups to fill Williams’ role.
Running backs in today’s game seem to be changing constantly due to injury. Williams has already suffered two concussions in his playing career, and one more can cause him to hang up the cleats no matter how “hard” his head is. The Bills need to think about this especially with the new concussion protocol.
The Bills will have a steady amount of firepower licking their chops behind Williams waiting for a chance to earn a spot.
Reggie Bush has been a name that can carry the load for the backup position. The Bills view Bush as a potential option at punt returner and as a counterpart to LeSean McCoy, if he needs a break or is injured.
Jonathan Williams is a guy we can talk about to step up. The fifth rounder was considered a steal for the Bills in the 2016 draft. The rookie found himself in trouble with a DWI arrest two months after being drafted which can hurt his chances.
Mike Gillislee showed some potential when he racked up 267 yards in five games last year. ESPN’s Mike Clay reported that Gillislee could be the favorite to land the backup job.
Finally, there is James Wilder Jr. who has been actively showing how ready he is via social media. The son of a former NFL great seems determined to make a great impact when training camp starts on Saturday.
Based on Karlos Williams shaky offseason, and the depth of talent on the roster, he could find himself looking for a job if he doesn’t get his act together fast.