When the Baltimore Ravens began their 2021 training camp, second-year running back Ty’Son Williams was firmly on the roster bubble and considered a longshot to make the final 53-man roster.
He proceeded to battle his way into contention for the No. 3 spot on the depth chart with consistent play in practice and impressive performances in the preseason.
A torn ACL suffered by J.K. Dobbins secured him a spot on the active roster, a torn Achilles tendon suffered by Justice Hill cemented him as the primary backup, and a torn ACL suffered by Gus Edwards propelled him to the spot heading into the regular season.
“It’s crazy, man,” Williams said last week. “Really, words just can’t describe it . .. you just keep pressing forward, keep putting in the work, and you let everything else take care of itself.”
Williams is the last man standing from the group of running backs Baltimore opened training camp with. He now finds himself with a golden opportunity to establish his own legacy. After spending nearly all of his rookie season on the practice squad, he is poised to be on the field early and often. This is especially true to start the season as the Ravens’ recent veteran acquisitions get acclimated and learn the offense.
While seasoned pros Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman, and Latavius Murray get the playbook down and build up chemistry with their new teammates, Williams will be the first man up in the backfield.
He has already proven to be a stylistic fit in Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman’s running scheme with his ability to break tackles and make decisive cuts. While he isn’t as accomplished of a pass-catcher as either Bell or Freeman, he looked natural catching passes out of the backfield in the preseason and exhibited soft hands. Most importantly, Williams excels in pass protection, which will bode well towards his future as a every-down back in the league.
The 2020 undrafted free agent out of BYU knows what it is like to battle back from a major season-ending injury and can empathize with his fallen teammates. He tore his ACL during his final year in college just four games into the season. This was probably one of the main reasons he didn’t hear his name called on draft day. He realizes the opportunity that lies ahead of him and is both ready and determined to make the most of it.
“It’s very exciting, very exciting,” Williams said. “I just try to keep the same approach – doing the things that got me here – and I know they’ll take me far.”
Williams will be making his regular season debut on a national stage, in what will certainly be a deafening and lively crowd when the Ravens face off with the Las Vegas Raiders in Sin City on Monday Night Football. He is primed to not only have a successful coming-out party in the first game, but could earn the right to maintain featured back role. He could even approach or surpass 1,000 yards rushing this year.
Williams is the youngest and most explosive running back that the Ravens have on the active roster or practice squad. Even if they want to go with a committee approach once the veterans get up to speed, Williams has earned to right to be heavily featured on offense.