By far the hardest hit when it comes to playing time has to be Damien Williams. This man was an absolute beast in the playoffs and made a solid case for winning Super Bowl MVP. He has, however, likely also gone from entrenched starter to backup running back after the Chiefs used a first-round pick on LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
To start, I think Williams is a fine running back—nothing more nothing less. I think he has had some massive games in the postseason, which obviously come to the front of your mind when evaluating him. The problem is consistency and health. If you remember the start of last season, he was averaging under 2 yards per carry and was getting outplayed by Lesean McCoy. If McCoy wasn’t holding the ball like a loaf of bread, we may have not seen Williams in any lead back capacity after that. After the fumbles and other injuries, Williams got another shot and the rest is history. I still don’t think Kansas City was comfortable giving him every down duties, especially for a full season, which is why they choose CEH.
Edwards-Helaire will become the lead back sooner rather than later with his elite pass catching ability and his overall skill set. Williams’ best attribute may be his pass catching as well, but not only is that CEH’s best ability, the Chiefs also brought in DeAndre Washington who thrives in that area, too. Is it possible that the Chiefs try and trade Damien while his value is at its peak?
I think the most realistic scenario is Williams and Edwards-Helaire starting off in a time-share before the rookie takes over by midseason. Williams has shown too much big play ability in big time moments to trade him for a flyer. The primetime version could show up again and keeping him fresh for the postseason could be in the back of Andy Reid’s mind as well.
Damien Williams went from Super Bowl hero to potential backup within a matter of months. Add in Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams to Clyde Edwards-Helaire and DeAndre Washington and you are looking at a very crowded backfield. Another positive for Kansas City as a team but not great for Damien Williams.