Williams closed the season by setting a franchise record with a career-best 210 yards rushing and two touchdowns in Carolina's 44-38 win over the New Orleans Saints.|||||||
Williams started the team's final five games with Stewart out with a high ankle sprain. Carolina won four of those.
With with Jonathan Stewart sustaining a high ankle sprain in Monday night's win over Philadelphia, coach Ron Rivera said Williams could be thrust back into the starting lineup against the Chiefs (1-10) on Sunday.|||||||
The Panthers gave Williams a five-year, $43 million deal before the 2011 season, but the 29-year-old running back hasn't come close to producing the type of numbers that would warrant such a big contract. He ran for 836 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011, but this year has just 292 yards rushing and three TDs. He is a low-end No. 2 fantasy RB at best.
Although the Panthers are open to listening to all trade offers, coach Ron Rivera said they aren't actively shopping any of their players. That includes, he said, the franchise's all-time leading rusher, Williams.|||||||
That doesn't mean it won't happen, of course. Williams, who signed a five-year, $41.5 million contract in 2011, was benched two weeks ago for Jonathan Stewart and has been a non-factor in the offense since.
Coach Ron Rivera said in an effort to shake things up the Panthers are moving away from their long-standing philosophy of rotating Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Rivera said the Panthers will instead look to "find one guy, develop a rhythm and if he gets hot, ride him" against Chicago Sunday.|||||||
That philosophy essentially began last week against Dallas, although it was hard to notice as neither tailback got rolling in a 19-14 loss. Stewart replaced Williams as the starter and finished with 35 yards on 10 carries. Williams played five snaps and carried twice for 4 yards. Newton led the team in rushing with 64 yards. Rivera said Stewart will start again Sunday against a physical Bears defense
Williams had 12 carries for 44 yards along with a two-yard reception Sunday in a 31-17 loss at NFC South rival Atlanta.|||||||
This is Cam Newton's show now in Carolina. That has diminished the value of Williams and fellow tailback Jonathan Stewart.