Williams' injury highlights preseason loss
Ryan Williams (Getty)
Ryan Williams (Getty)
Posted Aug 22, 2011

Arizona held its own against the defending Super Bowl champs, but lost promising rookie RB Ryan Williams for the year.

Part of the Game: Promising rookie running back Ryan Williams had his first NFL season cut abruptly short, tearing the Patella tendon in his knee early in the third quarter.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt officially ruled the second round pick out for the season as the team placed him on injured reserve over the weekend. The loss of Williams is a major blow to the backfield as the rookie was expected to be an integral component along with Beanie Wells, following the trade of Tim Hightower to Washington.

Williams will have surgery to repair the tendon and should make a full recovery in time for next season. For now, the load falls on Wells, LaRod Stephens-Howling and practice squad holdover Alfonso Smith. Arizona is expected the scour the waiver wire in the coming weeks to add depth.

Backup quarterback John Skelton suffered an ankle sprain in his first series of the game, but it is not believed to be serious.

Mental Mistakes: There was a lot of laundry at Lambeau Field as the Big Red committed 11 penalties for 80 yards, with a couple infractions negating big gains.

Starting left tackle Levi Brown was the guiltiest of parties, being cited for two false starts and a holding call. Luckily, these are mistakes are reparable, but with only two weeks until the start of the regular season, the coaching staff should put a focus on discipline before breaking camp.

Signs of Pressure: Arizona’s defense collected four sacks and several hits on Green Bay quarterbacks. That consistent pressure is a definite sign of improvement after last week’s lackluster performance in Oakland.

Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell made the biggest impact, winning several one-on-one battles in the trenches. The defense also thrived in filling running lanes and made a few plays in the secondary.

Rookie Rising: With tight ends Stephen Spach (calf) and Todd Heap (thumb) out, rookie Rob Housler played a lot of snaps and made the most of his opportunity.

The third-round pick from Florida Atlantic lead the team in receiving with five catches for 68 yards. Coupled with a touchdown catch against Oakland, Housler has proven himself a viable receiving threat and has already made significant strides.

Housler, who has struggled at times during camp, seems to have all of the physical skills to be successful at the pro level. Once the mental aspect of his game catches up, he could be difficult to stop.

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