Cincinnati Bengals running back Trayveon Williams was booted but buoyed with optimism two days after leaving practice on a cart with a right ankle injury.
Trayveon Williams Expects To Be ‘Back at It in a Couple of Weeks’
“It’s a little sprained, but we’ll be good and back at it in a couple of weeks,” Williams said.
The fifth-year veteran said he was doing position drills when he leaped and landed awkwardly on his right foot. After trainers worked on his ankle on the field, they elected to take him inside for further evaluation, and Williams admitted the short ride was a rough one.
“It’s a big year for sure, so obviously, my mind was all over the place,” he said. “But I trust in the good lord, and I’m just taking everything day by day. I’ll be ready for the opportunity to get back out there whenever that time is.”
The biggest opportunity of Williams’ career is in front of him this summer after Samaje Perine left in free agency. Williams is the favorite to win that third-down role that Perine excelled in, but missing a few weeks could level the competition.
Nevertheless, Williams is looking at the time off as a chance to hone in on the mental aspect of the third-down role, specifically when it comes to pass protection.
“I’m looking at it like this: It’s giving me a great opportunity to dial in on the playbook,” he said. “While I’m in there rehabbing, I’m looking at the playbook. So I have no excuse when I get out of there and get back on the field to not know everything front to back.”
Williams has been used sparingly since the Bengals drafted him in the sixth round in 2019. He’s never played more than 59 offensive snaps in a season, and he has 55 career touches (47 rushes and eight receptions).
With the 1-2 punch of Joe Mixon and Perine, there wasn’t much opportunity to see the field. Yet, when Mixon missed the Week 11 game at Tennessee, Williams proved he can be an asset in both pass protection and as a receiver, catching a 24-yard pass from Joe Burrow on 3rd-and-12 late in the second quarter. That set up a Perine seven-yard touchdown on the next play to tie the game, which the Bengals would go on to win 20-16.
“That was a big opportunity to show what I could do on third down, and I feel like I put some real good stuff on tape,” Williams said. “This year, I’m looking to do stuff like that all throughout the year.”
It all starts with pass protection, both in terms of recognition and execution.
“It’s one thing to do it, but you have to know what you have to do so you can go out there and play at a high level,” Williams said. “Obviously, with this offense, it’s very important.
“Samaje did a great job of that last year when it came to third down and the role he played. It’s just taking that one and knowing what to do and when to do it and do it at a high level that will put me in position to do great things.”
While Williams is mending, 2021 sixth-round pick Chris Evans will get a chance to prove what he can do in pass protection, and rookie fifth-rounder Chase Brown could get some third-down reps.
Listen to the PFN Bengals Podcast
Listen to the PFN Bengals Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Bengals Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Bengals Podcast on our NFL YouTube channel.