It's sounding more and more like the Buffalo Bills will be sitting LeSean McCoy (hamstring) against the New York Giants this weekend. Coach Rex Ryan hinted as much immediately after Buffalo's 41-14 win in Miami and then said Wednesday it's "a real possibility" the team will give McCoy some time to rest.
"He's certainly not 100 percent," Ryan said at his Wednesday news conference. "Will it hold him out? We're holding him out certainly right now for practice. There's a real possibility that he won't play this week."
The numbers don't lie, either. McCoy averaged a meager 1.5 yards per carry in the win, as Williams went for 9.2. Something's not right with the team's $40 million investment. So this is the week the Bills will likely be giving Williams a much, much heavier workload.
Injured hamstrings --- arguably more than any muscle --- tend to linger. Not to mention, it's only September for a team with postseason aspirations.
Ryan acknowledged that giving McCoy some time to rest, to heal might be the best approach right now.
"That could be, that could be," Ryan said. "He's obviously a super talent and sometimes a guy like that who's less than 100 percent is still pretty darn good. But is it worth the time to get him to 100 percent or near 100 percent? That's something we're weighing right now. We'll never put a guy out there if he's really injured. We're not going to put him out there, simple as that. Is there a real possibility he won't play in this game? Absolutely."
Williams' ascension would make this possible, too. The fifth-round pick has been as good as any rookie running back in the NFL through three games, leading the entire NFL in yards per carry (min: 20 attempts). Two bold picks by G.M. Doug Whaley have been paying off.
As the back said, no other team even had a formal interview with him at the NFL scouting combine. So the former college safety is now here in Buffalo, set to be the workhorse against the Giants on Sunday. Listed at 230 pounds, Ryan said Williams weighs 243 pounds. Scary considering he ran a 4.48 at the combine.
"He has obviously far exceeded everybody's expectations," Ryan said. "We were getting one of the best special teams players in the country. That's what we knew we had. And a guy who had some raw skills as a running back. But you combine the raw skills that he has with Anthony Lynn as our running back coach, being around LeSean McCoy, this guy's a man.
"I think there's a lot of people who wish the draft was held right now and they might've drafted him a little higher than he went --- including us. He's done a great job. He studies. He's a great teammate. But when his number's been called, he pounds it in there."
Ryan watched tape of Williams playing safety after the Bills took him as a running back, joking that "it was tempting" to use him on defense.
Added Ryan, "I'm kind of glad we left him at running back. But he's just a football player and when you see him play special teams, that's what jumped out on the tape. He'd run, he'd hit. He did everything like that."
Now, the rookie's role is about to expand.
For more on Karlos Williams, here's the story of his connection with a young boy named Kase Powell, who died of brain cancer at age 4.