The Arizona Cardinals have confirmed that rookie running back Ryan Williams has a ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee, and will undergo season-ending surgery early next week, Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic reports.
Williams was injured and carted off the field early in the third quarter of Friday night's 28-20 preseason loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Selected with the 38th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Williams was expected to be a big part of the team's offense this season, likely as the No. 2 back behind starter Chris "Beanie" Wells. The Cardinals were so comfortable with their depth at the position, they traded backup running back Tim Hightower, a restricted free agent in 2011, to the Washington Redskins for veteran defensive end Vonnie Holliday and a 2012 sixth-round draft choice.
With Williams headed for injured reserve, LaRod Stephens-Howling and Alfonso Smith are the running backs behind Wells. While Stephens-Howling is a dangerous threat in the return game, he has just 29 carries for 128 yards and one touchdown in 29 games over the last two seasons. Smith, a second-year player out of Kentucky, had zero carries in the one game he was active for last year.
For more reaction to the Williams injury, visit Revenge of the Birds.