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Damien Williams

Chicago Bears
Running Back #26
Chicago Bears
Running Back #26
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Damien Williams News

Targeted five times

Williams rushed six times for 12 yards and caught four passes for 28 yards in the Bears' 34-14 loss to the Rams on Sunday.

Analysis: Williams played 43 percent of the snaps, though he saw a higher concentration of those when the game was out of hand. However, he was mixed in with David Montgomery while the game was in question, and he appears to be the clear No. 2 back who will get regular playing time to keep Montgomery fresh. With solid receiving ability, Williams offers potential flex value in fantasy leagues that award a point per reception.

Sep 13, 2021 6:20 AM EST

Does little in preseason finale

Williams carried the ball five times for 11 yards in Saturday's preseason win over the Titans.

Analysis: Getting the start with David Montgomery resting ahead of Week 1, Williams made little impact and got stuffed for no gain on two of his carries, including on a fourth and one from the Titans' 49-yard line. With Tarik Cohen (knee) still on the PUP list and looking iffy for Week 1 against the Rams, Williams appears set as the Bears' No. 2 running back to begin the season, but the downgrade in offensive environment will make it difficult for him to match the efficiency or production he displayed with Kansas City over the last two years.

Aug 28, 2021 8:49 PM EST

Draws preseason start

Williams rushed five times for eight yards while hauling in a two-yard reception in the Bears' 41-15 preseason loss to the Bills on Saturday.

Analysis: With David Montgomery sitting out, Williams served as Chicago's primary back with the first-team offense. However, with Andy Dalton largely unable to move the offense and the offensive line not creating much space, Williams was unable to get in a groove and was largely ineffective with his chances. Regardless, with Tarik Cohen (knee) still missing time, Williams should have a role as the backup to Montgomery once the season begins, and it's possible he sees work on passing downs.

Aug 21, 2021 3:08 PM EST

Impressing in camp

Williams has been a weapon as a receiver during training camp, Alyssa Barbieri of USA Today reports.

Analysis: While being used as a receiver, Williams has been able to create space against teammate Roquan Smith, who is one of the best coverage linebackers in the league. With Tarik Cohen (knee) slated to miss at least a few weeks, Williams could be positioned to earn an increased role as a receiving back, and he's already proven to be capable of that after having caught at least 20 passes in each of his six years in the league.

Aug 4, 2021 9:00 AM EST

Slated for backup role

Williams could be a direct replacement at running back if David Montgomery misses time Sean Hammond of the Daily Herald reports.

Analysis: When Montgomery missed a game in 2020, the Bears lacked a reliable replacement, but after averaging 4.5 yards per carry in 2019 before opting out last year, Williams potentially fills that void in the offense. In addition, Williams caught 30 passes in his last year with the Chiefs, so he also could see involvement in the passing game. Unless his projected role is expected to grow, he'll likely be a depth option who could be available on waivers after fantasy drafts have concluded for fantasy managers.

Jul 8, 2021 6:01 AM EST

Lands in Windy City

Williams has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Bears, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Williams flourished in an offensive system that coach Matt Nagy helped to define back with the Chiefs, and he worked with offensive coordinator Bill Lazor back in Miami, so he should be an ideal fit in Chicago's scheme. It's worth noting that neither Williams or Nagy actually held tenure in Kansas City simultaneously, however. The Super Bowl LIV star opted out of the 2020 campaign due to concerns relating to COVID-19, and he'll now mix into a likely change-of-pace or backup role alongside Tarik Cohen (knee), who's coming off an ACL tear. The presence of two backups skilled enough to warrant their own consistent touches could spell a decline in David Montgomery's upcoming workload.

Mar 24, 2021 10:08 AM EST

Let go by Kansas City

Williams will be released by Kansas City, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Per, Sam McDowell of The Kansas City Star, Williams' release will save the Chiefs $2.175 million against their salary cap. The running back opted out of the 2020 season, but plans to resume playing in 2021.The 28-year-old, who logged 111 carries for 498 yards and five TDs in 11 games during the 2019 campaign, should catch on elsewhere as a depth back, but he has the ability to carve out a larger role down the road in the right team context.

Mar 16, 2021 1:22 PM EST

Expected back in 2021

Williams, who opted out of the 2020 campaign, is expected to return for the Chiefs and play next season, Charles Goldman of USA Today reports.

Analysis: Williams and right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif are both expected to return for Kansas City in 2021 after both opted out of the team's 2020 campaign. With Clyde Edwards-Helaire coming off a solid rookie season, in which he managed 1,100 yards from scrimmage in 13 games, Williams looks likely to be No. 2 on the depth chart in his age-29 campaign, but he certainly boasts the skillset to succeed in a change-of-pace role. With Le'Veon Bell set to hit free agency, Williams' strongest offseason competition will likely come from Darrel Williams, who saw a season-high seven targets in Super Bowl LV.

Feb 8, 2021 10:45 AM EST

Opts out of 2020 campaign

Williams has elected to opt out of the 2020 season.

Analysis: In statement, the team relayed that "as an organization, we certainly understand and respect Damien's choice, knowing it was made in the best interest of his family. He means a lot to our football team as a player and a person, and we're going to miss having him around this season." With Williams slated to be unavailable this season, Clyde Edwards-Helaire is now on track to serve as Kansas City's top running back.

Jul 29, 2020 1:54 PM EST

Undeterred by Edwards-Helaire

Despite competing with Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the backfield, Williams expects to enjoy a breakout season in 2020, Nate Taylor of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Williams is 28 years old and entering the second season of a two-year, $5.1 million extension, while Edwards-Helaire is a 21-year-old first-round pick. The rookie may be the one with the significant investment behind him, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll enter Week 1 in the lead role. An abbreviated offseason program should work in favor of Williams, who already has two seasons of experience in Andy Reid's offense, highlighted by 540 total yards and 10 touchdowns in five playoff appearances. The workload division in KC's backfield figures to be one of the leading fantasy storylines throughout summer and into the fall.

Jul 6, 2020 7:30 AM EST

Could keep starting job

Chiefs GM Brett Veach told Pro Football Talk that Williams will retain his spot atop the depth chart while sharing the backfield workload with Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

Analysis: Veach may be referring to training camp - whenever that happens - rather than making any promises for Week 1. After all, Veach may have called Williams as his starter, but the GM then referred to the rookie as a "franchise running back" and "special and unique". The Chiefs presumably will allow Williams and Edwards-Helaire to compete for touches, giving the first-round pick an opportunity to emerge as the lead back even if the veteran technically remains the starter. Given the immense potential for backfield fantasy production in an offense led by Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, the breakdown between Williams and Edwards-Helaire is sure to be a heavily discussed topic throughout the summer and into fall.

May 1, 2020 4:29 AM EST

Facing new competition

Williams has a new competitor in the backfield following the Chiefs' selection of former LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Adam Teicher of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Edwards-Helaire's smaller frame (5-foot-7) and the fact that there could be an unconventional offseason ahead for NFL teams could still position Williams to play a significant role as an early-down contributor for the Chiefs during the 2020 season. However, the brass' first-round selection of a running back dims Williams' prospects of serving as the team's workhorse after his contract expires following 2020. Edwards-Helaire also reeled in 55 passes at LSU last season, so there's no part of Williams' game that Edwards-Helaire can't seemingly match.

Apr 24, 2020 11:59 AM EST

Option to be picked up

With the Chiefs planning to pick up Williams' contract option, the running back is slated to earn $2.3 million in 2020, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Over his past two campaigns with Kansas City, Williams combined for 161 carries for 754 yards, to go along with 53 catches for 373 yards and 13 total TDs through 27 games. The 27-year-old capped things last season by rushing 17 times for 104 yards and a TD while hauling in four passes for 29 yards and another score during the Chiefs' 31-20 win over the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. As things stand, Williams continues to profile as the team's top backfield option, with the likes of Darrel Williams, Darwin Thompson and Elijah McGuire also currently in the mix.

Mar 16, 2020 7:04 AM EST

Eclipses century mark in SB LIV win

Williams rushed 17 times for 104 yards and a touchdown and brought in four of eight targets for 29 yards and another score during the Chiefs' 31-20 win over the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday. He also fumbled once, but it was recovered by the offense.

Analysis: Had it not been for Patrick Mahomes' spectacular second-half performance, Williams arguably had a rightful claim to MVP honors with his impressive performance in a stadium he once called his home field. The former Dolphin consistently fought successfully for yardage against a stingy 49ers defense, and he sealed the victory courtesy of a back-breaking 38-yard scoring scamper with 1:12 remaining in the contest. A drive earlier, Williams got into the end zone through the air, successfully getting the ball across the goal line just before his foot stepped out of bounds for a five-yard, go-ahead touchdown. Williams missed five games during the regular season due to injury, but he played a pivotal role in the postseason with six total scores (four rushing, two receiving). Williams enters the final year of his contract in 2020 and is on the books for $1.85 million, a highly reasonable figure for a lead back with his upside.

Feb 2, 2020 7:55 PM EST

Scores with 89 scrimmage yards

Williams carried 17 times for 45 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Titans. He also caught five passes for an additional 44 yards in the 35-24 win.

Analysis: Williams struggled on the ground as he finished averaging just 2.6 yards per carry. He salvaged his day from a fantasy perspective with a three-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and rounded out his performance with an excellent showing as a receiver. Williams has totaled 157 scrimmage yards in two postseason performances, but he's scored four touchdowns and should be a focal point of the offense in the Super Bowl against either the 49ers or the Packers.

Jan 19, 2020 5:17 PM EST

Three scores in divisional round

Williams ran for 47 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries and caught two of six targets for 21 receiving yards and an additional TD during Sunday's 51-31 divisional round win against Houston.

Analysis: Williams' first score was the snowball that started the avalanche, as Kansas City went on to rack up an additional 35 unanswered points after he hauled in a 17-yard TD pass from Patrick Mahomes at the 9:55 mark of the second quarter. He was an effective red-zone rusher in addition to his contributions in the passing game, punching in five and one-yard TD runs during the third quarter to help KC balloon its lead to 17 points before Houston finally broke its scoreless streak. He's been on fire of late with 314 scrimmage yards and six total scores to his name since Week 16, heading into an AFC Championship Game matchup against a Titans defense that held Baltimore RBs to just 42 combined rushing yards on nine carries Saturday.

Jan 12, 2020 4:55 PM EST

Strikes twice in huge win

Williams ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries during Sunday's 31-21 win over the Chargers. He added 30 yards on four receptions.

Analysis: Williams extended Kansas City's lead to two scores midway through the third quarter when he kept his footing after an attempted group tackle, spun out, and raced down the sideline for a game-changing 84-yard touchdown. He struck again from seven-yards out to put the game away in the fourth quarter. Williams has come out of the gate hot after missing several weeks with a rib injury, accounting for 246 total yards and three touchdowns in two games. The Chiefs get a bye next week and will play either the Patriots, Texans or Bills in the divisional round.

Dec 29, 2019 2:04 PM EST

Leads backfield and scores

Williams rushed 16 times for 65 yards and caught three passes for 27 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 26-3 win over the Bears.

Analysis: LeSean McCoy was a healthy scratch for this contest, leaving Williams as the unquestioned lead back in his return from a three-game injury layoff. The 27-year-old didn't appear to be limited by the ribs that kept him on the shelf, dominating the backfield touches with 19 and averaging 4.1 yards per carry. Next week's opponent, the Los Angeles Chargers, are one of the toughest teams to throw on, but can be beat on the ground (110.3 rushing yards allowed per game), making Williams a high-upside play given the matchup and his clear lead-back role.

Dec 22, 2019 9:27 PM EST

Good to go this week

Williams (rib) has been cleared to play in Sunday night's contest against the Bears, Adam Teicher of reports.

Analysis: Williams heads into the contest minus a Week 16 injury designation after practicing fully Friday. That removes the risk in terms of him being potentially being a Sunday night scratch, but it remains to be seen how much work he'll see in his first game action since Week 11. With that in mind, LeSean McCoy, Spencer Ware and Darwin Thompson -- who formed a Week 15 backfield time share -- are also in the mix, a context that makes Williams' volume Sunday difficult to project.

Dec 20, 2019 2:11 PM EST

Remains limited at practice

Williams (rib) remained limited at practice Thursday.

Analysis: Back-to-back limited practices to start the week increase the chances that Williams could return to action Sunday night against the Bears. We'll circle back on his status Friday to see if the running back heads into the weekend listed as questionable, or minus a Week 16 injury designation.

Dec 19, 2019 2:34 PM EST

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