Things have changed a lot for the Bills since running back Karlos Williams last saw the field. After his setback, it appeared that Williams could be competing for a roster spot. Now, he's in position to get a significant number of carries throughout the regular season. Williams said that it just "felt good" to be back on the field.
"You lose that excitement almost, but watching my teammates the last few weeks I've been excited especially young guys who came in and got their work and run the ball well," Williams said after Friday's practice. "Getting back to it has been very fun."
Although the Bills never disclosed Williams' setback, he says that it was painful and needed to be treated immediately.
"I just kind of wanted to get rid of the pain as soon as possible," he said. "It was something that couldn't wait … I just wanted to get the pain out of there and get situated so I could get back on the football field."
Friday's practice marked the first time since the Bills lost to the Carolina Panthers on August 14 that Williams was able to participate in practice. In that game, Williams had 14 carriers for 40 yards and a touchdown and two receptions for 23 yards. Although three weeks have gone by, it looks like Williams hasn't missed a step.
"Being down and injured for a little bit I stayed mentally into it going to meetings and staying in my playbook," he said. "Being home for about a week, week and a half really resting and not really moving a lot or walking around that much, but after that … staying on top of special teams and staying on top of offensive installations and preparing for the preseason games trying to mentally prepare myself."
With the regular season just a week away, Williams and the rest of the Bills running backs will have to prepare in earnest. All of the running backs on roster were injured at one point or another during the preseason. Although this could lead to additional carries for the Florida State product, Williams is mindful of the fact that he is a rookie and there are still veterans at his position group headed into Week 1.
"I definitely I want to start on special teams and try to work myself into the rotation as the week goes on and try to be active for the first game. That's the goal," he said. "I definitely want to make sure I keep myself here and that's a part of being in those meeting rooms and learning as much as possible and make sure I stay on top of things and know my alignment, assignment and techniques."
Now that the cuts are over and the 53-man roster is all but set, Williams looks at the running backs around him and sees "opportunity." With Fred Jackson, Bronson Hill, Ricky Seale and Cierre Wood no longer in the fold, Williams, LeSean McCoy, Boobie Dixon and Bryce Brown will share the load.
"Opportunities they present themselves and you just have to take advantage of those. Just like Shady coming here from Philly. It was an opportunity to come to a new organization to be part of a new family," Williams said. "That's what we're building here and there are opportunities here for me to go out and get better every day."
The Indianapolis Colts will make their way to Buffalo in the coming days for the first game of the regular season. Despite all of the setbacks along the way, Williams says that he will "most definitely" be ready for Week 1.
"I have a new focus and burst of energy," he said. "I'll lean on the veterans as much as possible and just keep pushing forward on to the regular season."