INGLEWOOD, Calif. – For all intents and purposes, last Sunday's game against the Cardinals might as well have been Kyren Williams' NFL debut.
Hurt on the first play of the season-opener against the Bills, the Rams rookie running back was activated off of Injured Reserve in Week 10 and managed to make it through playing 16 of their 68 offensive snaps, plus another five snaps on special teams.
"I don't want to be selfish, but I'm just glad I got through my first NFL game," Williams said postgame. "Like you said, first play of the game (in Week 1), I was gone for the last eight weeks, and now I'm just got through my first NFL game, I'm gonna give my mom my jersey. I just feel so happy, like, blessed that I was able to be out there and play football again."
Given Williams' aforementioned workload, Week 10 was more so about him getting acclimated to live action again. Even in those limited opportunities, though, he still looked effective.
His lone carry went for a 9-yard gain, and on that same drive, he had all three of his receptions for 30 yards – including a 14-yard grab that brought the Rams to the Cardinals 10-yard line. The end result of the drive: A 3-yard touchdown pass from quarterback John Wolford to wide receiver Van Jefferson.
"I think he did a good job," Rams head coach Sean McVay said Tuesday. "I was pleased with him. Obviously, kind of similar to what was asked about Van, you saw him get some opportunities towards the latter part of the game. Getting his feet wet in some of that real live competition I think can only benefit him, give him confidence moving forward and we'll continue to see what that looks like for the running back rotation."
The Rams could use a strong performance out of Williams and the rest of their running back rotation this Sunday against a Saints defense that allows the 11th-most rushing yards per game in the NFL entering Week 11. Regardless of his role, though, Williams is just glad to be back out there after an unlucky start to his rookie season.
"What I always say is if you ain't got nerves, you're not ready," Williams said. "Being able to just be on that field, and from the offensive view, being able to be in the backfield and be next to John and see the defense, it was just like football again, all of those nerves were gone and it's just a game, we're just playing a game. At the end of the day, it was fun."