After Samaje Perine surprisingly bolted to Denver in free agency this spring, Trayveon Williams looked like he was poised to take on the immediate backup role to Joe Mixon. In very limited regular-season snaps, Williams has provided the occasional spark, but questions on whether he would be able to do all of the things Perine provided the offense lingered.
He looked pretty solid in the spring and into the summer, but an unfortunate ankle injury early in training camp derailed his preseason. In the meantime, Chase Brown and Chris Evans have flashed here and there, making the running back depth chart a bit murky.
- Height: 5’8”
- Weight: 206
- Age: 25
- College: Texas A&M
- Hometown: Houston, TX
- Experience: Entering fifth season
Williams re-signed a one-year deal with the Bengals this spring, with a total value of $1,232,500. The salary cap hit is $1,092,500, per OverTheCap.
Background and Outlook
Williams was part of Zac Taylor’s very first draft class, coming to the Bengals in the sixth round of the 2019 Draft. He was coming off of an incredibly productive season with the Aggies, netting 1,760 rushing yards, 18 rushing touchdowns, and some decent production as a receiver as well.
Then-offensive line coach Jim Turner knew Williams from his previous stint at Texas A&M and believed the back could thrive in the Bengals’ run-blocking scheme. Unfortunately for Williams, he has had a tough path in being active on gamedays, but he’s definitely shown the coaches a high level of effort to earn his time.
With the Bengals, he’s done some things as a back but also as a kick returner. Now with Perine gone, Williams’ role is looking to both heighten and truly be defined.
He’ll need to show he’s up to the task for an increased role, and while injuries are out of one’s control, that doesn’t mesh well with the need for an increased workload. In limited snaps, Williams has shown promise as a receiver and pass protector, which points to promise should he be the primary backup.
Williams made the final roster as of Tuesday afternoon, but the injury and rise of other young backs brings that into question just a smidge. The coaching staff’s preference to scour the waiver wire for additional talent after final cuts (Perine was one back in 2019) also plays into some of the questions with Williams and someone out there might tempt them is a roster spot swap.
Roster odds: 85-90%