It was announced at Saturday that the Buffalo Bills release RB Karlos Williams after one year in the league.
The Buffalo Bills selected Karlos Williams in the fifth round of last year’s draft and never expected him to give us the excitement that he brought to the field whenever he suited up. He came right in and gave us relief when LeSean McCoy was battling injuries and exceeded expectations while doing so.
We all remember his first carry as a part of the NFL and the Bills Mafia — a 26-yard rushing touchdown with 20 seconds remaining in the first half of a 27-14 season opener vs. the Colts. He went on to tie an NFL record when he scored a touchdown in his first six games in the league, a record previously owned by just Robert Edwards (New England Patriots in 1998).
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Overall, he finished the season with 11 appearances and 3 starts, amassing 93 carries, 517 yards and 9 total touchdowns (2 receiving touchdowns). He was the perfect sidekick to McCoy and proved that he has a bright future in the league.
The problems began when Karlos Williams reported to minicamp in June overweight. Blaming his fiancees pregnancy, he quickly began to fall behind the progress of the rest of the team. Shortly after, it was announced that he had violated the league’s substance abuse policy and would be suspended the first four games of the season.
When training camp started, the Bills placed him on the active/non-football illness list as he was still having weight issues. It seemed as though he was so far behind on his weight that it would take too long for him to get to top-shape again. Come Monday, the Bills activated him as he made his return to the field.
After a few days of practice, the Bills noticed how far behind he was in his game — which was the biggest problem.
On Saturday, just before the Bills kicked off their second preseason game against the New York Giants, they announced that the running back has been released. That’s when we all saw Williams’ Instagram post — which he captioned:
“I will never forget my first carry in #TheRalph I wanna thank the #billsorganization for the opportunity of a life time. #FirstNflCarryFirstNflTouchdown #BillsMafia”
Who Steps Up?
Karlos Williams was the Bills’ backup running back last year and was a huge part of an offense that saw three different players rush for more than 500 yards: Williams (517 yards), Tyrod Taylor (568 yards) and McCoy (895 yards).
If the Bills want to retain their top-rushing attack in the league reputation, someone will have to carry the load behind McCoy — who is expected to have a bigger load this season.
The favorite so far has to be Reggie Bush, especially with the experience he has in the league. He brings a great presence on the receiving end and can easily explode out of the backfield at any moment. He brings a lot of the same type of play as McCoy, though. Could we possibly see some of our bigger backs also get a role this year?
Well, the other two players that have stood out in training camp are rookie Jonathan Williams and Mike Gillislee. Each have shown flashes of excellence, most recently was Williams’ performance against the Giants on Saturday when he rushed for a 1-yard rushing touchdown. Williams is nearly 20 pounds heavier than both Bush and McCoy, so he could see a role.
James Wilder Jr. also had a good outing vs. the Giants and led the team with 31 yards on 11 carries.
In the end, I see Reggie Bush having a big role in the offense this year. As for behind him, it will depend on who has the best preseason. I would like to see the team give Jonathan Williams some time to develop into the type of player they need out of him, so he could make a good development player working behind all of these veterans.
Keep a look out for this battle in the upcoming preseason games against the Washington Redskins (August 26th) and the Detroit Lions (September 1st).
Smart or Dumb?
I say this is a smart move, both for the Bills and for Karlos Williams. He was obviously very far behind on his weight and with the suspension, it just wasn’t worth having him take up space on a roster that definitely needs it.
In addition, it gives Karlos a chance to work on getting back in shape without distractions. Hopefully, he can find a job somewhere else (not the Patriots) and continue a very illustrious career.
Good luck in your travels, Karlos.
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(Buffalo Bills Release RB Karlos Williams)(Buffalo Bills Release RB Karlos Williams)(Buffalo Bills Release RB Karlos Williams)