Breaking down how Trayveon Williams' injury impacts the Bengals RB room

Williams was injured during Tuesday's practice.
Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

Cincinnati Bengals running back Trayveon Williams went down in practice on Tuesday and was carted off the field. Although he has seen limited touches since his sixth-round draft billing in 2019, Zac Taylor has been bullish about utilizing Williams more this upcoming season.

With Bengals backup running back Samaje Perine departing for Denver in free agency, Williams looked to have a larger role in the run game with only Joe Mixon and rookie Chase Brown ahead of him on the depth chart. He has been a Swiss Army Knife for the Bengals, seeing work in the kickoff return game during the regular season, and signing a contract extension in March.

However, on Day 6 of training camp, Williams went down during ball security drills. Ian Rapoport tweeted on Tuesday afternoon that Williams is going to "likely miss a couple of weeks".

What does Trayveon Williams' injury mean for the Bengals running backs?

Williams' estimated time of recovery could still change, but if he's out a couple of weeks as Rapoport indicated, that projects him to be healthy for one of the two final Bengals preseason games. These games look to give Williams touches, helping build his case as the Bengals' RB2.

Depending on how long it takes for Williams to recover and his ability upon return, it could help others on the depth chart secure a roster spot. Mixon may transition to a more three-down bellcow role whereas he normally swapped out with Bernard or Perine on third down.

Since Williams is out of the mix for a couple of weeks, rookie Chase Brown should now solidify himself as the number two running back on the roster. However, Chris Evans, who has shown immense upside when given the ball, is the most interesting name to keep an eye out for.

The 2021 sixth-rounder has been buried, or perhaps stashed, on the depth chart and not given many meaningful carries or targets the past season. He's a smaller pass-catching back, similar to Giovani Bernard, and has the potential to be the third down back. He averaged 4.5 yards per carry his rookie season and even scored a touchdown against the Chiefs in December. Evans has always had the skillset to be the number two, but it would appear that now he also has the opportunity to make the roster.


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With notable free agent running backs Dalvin Cook, Kareem Hunt, and Ezekiel Elliott still available, Cincinnati might look to help bolster a thin running back room with proven talent. However, it would appear that the Bengals coaching staff and front office believe in Trayveon Williams and hope for a quick recovery.