In Arizona all eyes will be on running back Ryan Williams following the Beanie Wells turf toe injury. The second-year, second-round pick is poised for a career-day. But it could very well be another Arizona Cardinals running back who steals the show against Miami later today: William Powell.
Powell, the undrafted rookie out of Kansas State, led the league is rushing yards in the preseason. He also had the most touchdowns among running backs. He was able to make the team as a result of his strong performance. And now, he gets his chance.
Regular backup LaRod Stephens-Howling was a non-participate in practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and is doubtful for the game. This means Powell would slide up behind Williams as the number two back Sunday. Alfonso Smith could also be in the mix but you have to imagine that the Arizona coaching staff is eager to see what Powell can bring in a regular season game.
And if Powell outperforms Williams, he could turn into the main back in a heartbeat. Williams has had a fumble in two out of three games so far this season. He nearly blew Arizona’s remarkable underdog victory against New England in week 2. With just over a minute left and his team up by 2 points, Williams managed to cough up the ball with a third-down fumble on Arizona’s own 35 yard-line. Miraculously, the Patriots missed the field goal seconds later and Arizona hung on to win. If Stephen Gostkowski – normally considered a top-five fantasy kicker – hadn’t missed, Williams’ fumble might not have been forgotten. Williams also had a fumble in week 1 against Seattle.
Powell said he’s been ready every week for a shot, according to this AZCardinals.com article.
“Over the first three weeks, I was anxious, ready to get in there and settle back into it,” Powell was quoting in the article as saying. “Unfortunately, I was inactive but I stayed ready. You never know in this league when your number will be called so I had to stay ready. Every week I was ready to go in there.”
He continued in the article: “It’ll be the same routine that I’ve been doing just getting ready for each game. The only thing different (is that I) will be in the locker room getting ready for kickoff.”
If you have the roster room, consider stashing Powell now as he has the potential to be the next breakout running back for 2012. After the game, it may be too late. Williams owners should also consider him as a handcuff option.
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