Ravens: Ty’Son Williams can solidify his place as RB1 in Week 1

A moment of silence for our fallen Baltimore Ravens who have been cruelly taken away from us this season due to the worst possible luck.

There’s no rhyme or reason to the Ravens’ recent injury blight, and it is with great sadness that we put these injuries in the past and move on, but move on we must.

After all, one member of the Baltimore running back corps remains standing: Ty’Son Williams.

No one planned on pinning the Ravens’ running back hopes on Williams when J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards were healthy, but here we are.

This might be a once-in-a-career opportunity for Williams, and if he lives up to at least some of his potential, he can win the No. 1 running back position in 2021.

Williams enters his second season with Baltimore having spent all his rookie season on the Ravens practice squad.

What does it mean when your potential starting running back hasn’t recorded a single regular-season carry?

It means Williams has everything to gain in his debut against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday.

Williams won’t win the starting spot uncontested —  his rivals include Trenton Cannon, Devonta Freeman, and Le’Veon Bell, though Freeman and Bell are on the team’s practice squad.

Cannon will likely offer more value on special teams given his playing similarities to Justice Hill, though Bell could be elevated to the active roster for Baltimore’s first season game.

New addition Latavius Murray also could get first-team touches, but he’s more of a “Bell-type” than an “RB1-type.”

By that, we mean both Murray and Bell have years of pro experience and at least one Pro Bowl, but at their ages, they can’t be expected to be the primary ball-carrier for an already run-heavy Baltimore offense.

Baltimore Ravens running back Ty’Son Williams gets the chance of a lifetime

But Williams can.

This preseason, the undrafted free agent out of BYU rushed for 130 yards on 24 carries and added a touchdown, averaging 5.41 yards per carry.

Williams performed well this summer, yet compared to Dobbins and Edwards who combined for over 1,500 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns in 2020, Williams won’t even sniff that level of production.

While not as talented as his injured peers, Williams possesses his own skill set that makes him a formidable asset in the Ravens’ running game. Williams stands out as a heftier back weighing 220 pounds, but the kid can still run: he recorded a 4.48 40-yard dash at his pro day.

Williams’ ego may have taken a hit after going undrafted in 2020, but there’s no space for ego anyway when he’s rushing alongside dual-threat Lamar Jackson, who led the team with 1,005 rushing yards last season.

Heading into the season opener, Williams has been given the RB1 spot due to factors out of his control, but keeping that spot will be entirely up to him.

After Week 1, Murray will be Williams’ most direct challenger for primary running back duties since Murray has the advantage of being a capable pass-catcher as well.

Should Williams impress heavily in the first game (say, he records 20 carries and even nabs a touchdown), there may not even be a competition for running back.

Ty’Son Williams can earn the confidence of his coaches and teammates snap by snap, game by game, and that all starts against the Raiders on Monday. Don the purple with pride, crank up Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” and go get ’em.