Ravens: John Harbaugh explains Ty’Son Williams’ lack of playing time

Ravens, Ty'Son Williams (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
Ravens, Ty'Son Williams (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens have marched to the top of the AFC North using a running-back-by-committee approach, but one back who has fallen behind the pack is Ty’Son Williams.

At the start of the season, Williams seemed like the de facto No. 1 running back following J.K. Dobbins’ and Gus Edwards’ injuries, possessing the explosive speed and talent to make up for his relative lack of experience.

10 weeks into the season, that lack of experience is starting to hurt him the most.

Williams’ playing time has been trending downward ever since Week 5, when he played just 19 percent of offensive snaps.

He then missed Week 6, played in 29 percent of offensive snaps in Week 7, 18 percent of offensive snaps in Week 9, and only played on special teams in Week 10 (19 percent of snaps).

What’s been going on with his usage? Head coach John Harbaugh recently shed some light on the Ravens’ current running back situation.

Ravens running back Ty’Son Williams isn’t ready to become an RB1 in 2021

In other words, Williams isn’t a complete enough back to have a prominent role in the running back rotation, per Baltimore’s coaches’ evaluations.

Williams’ main competitors are Latavius Murray, who could return to action in Week 11, and Devonta Freeman, who has carried the brunt of the Ravens’ ball-carrying duties in recent weeks.

Baltimore’s rushing leader this season is, unsurprisingly, Lamar Jackson, but Freeman ranks second with 43 carries for 223 yards.

Behind Freeman, Murray has 69 carries for 212 yards and Williams has 33 carries for 180 yards. Williams also just has one score compared to Freeman’s two and Murray’s four.

Being the fourth-best in rushing yardage as an undrafted rookie isn’t all that bad.

Yet, what may be most frustrating about Williams’ season, in particular, is that he went from playing in more than half of offensive snaps in Week 1 to only getting special teams snaps in Week 10.

Williams can boast the most upside compared to his veteran teammates, but what he has in potential he lacks in consistency.

The BYU product had a few hiccups early in the season when he fumbled the ball and blew some assignments, and that was enough to knock him down the running back depth chart.

Many fans may believe otherwise, but in Harbaugh we still trust.

In spare good news for Williams, the Ravens recently released Le’Veon Bell, so that could mean Williams gets more touches in the second half of the season.

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Until Ty’Son Williams proves he can fulfill all running back duties, though, Harbaugh likely won’t include him in the Ravens’ offensive schemes. To special teams purgatory, he goes.