Going into his final year on his rookie deal, Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams is looking at an uphill battle for earning playing time. Stuck behind Aaron Jones for sure, GB used a second-round pick on RB AJ Dillon from Boston College, and besides the fact that his calves have taken over the talk of the town in training camp, he is going to vie for some solid playing time.
So for Wiliams, the former BYU back is going to have to reinvent himself a bit if he wants to see the field, and earning a solid stake in passing situations is something that will be key to him getting out on the field. And having caught at least 25 balls in all three professional seasons so far, Williams has proven that he can be the guy that fills that role if needed.
The fact that Jones will not repeat his league-leading 19 total touchdowns is quite evident, and along with the fact that there will be fewer touches for Jones, especially since the team has a solid three-deep rotation that they can use out there (on top of Tyler Ervin and Dexter Williams), Jamaal Williams has the chance to earn a solid slice of the pie in this offense.
Having racked up a career-high 39 catches for 253 yards and 5 touchdowns, on top of his 460 rushing yards and 1 rushing score, Jamaal Williams is a durable back that has always faced some sort of competition in the league ever since he entered it. But he has persevered through it, and he has been able to carve out a nice backup role for himself, and his showings in camp have given the coaching staff a difficult decision to make moving forward.
Jones is the clear-cut no. 1 option, and that will not be changing anytime soon. Dillon will surely face a rookie learning curve, giving Jamaal Williams a solid chance to take his carries to start the year before giving some of those to Dillon. And with fewer guaranteed carries for Jamaal Williams, being able to pop out of the backfield and haul in 40+ passes is the easiest way for him to still hold a meaningful role on this team.
Rumors have floated around this offseason about Jamaal Williams being a potential training camp cut or even a trade candidate due to the lack of promised work, but the Packers have displayed no sort of ill-feelings towards his roster spot, meaning that they feel as though head coach Matt LaFleur has a solid role for him in the coach’s second season running the team.
Williams could easily become a casualty of too many bodies to feed, and if Dillon continues to showcase his better-than-expected receiving chops, then Jamaal Williams may be out of a job or on a different team before the first week of the NFL season kicks off.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23