Most of the attention surrounding the Washington Commanders' backfield has been focused on Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson, and it is not hard to see why. They have combined for 1,276 total yards and eight touchdowns, so they clearly are the tandem that Ron Rivera envisioned when he drafted Robinson in April.
Jonathan Williams, on the other hand, has 76 yards on 10 carries. That might not seem like much, but that is not the way that Scott Turner sees it. Now that Williams is set to have a larger role with J.D. McKissic on Injured Reserve, he can provide an even larger impact.
"He has a really good role for us," Turner said. "He runs really hard, creates a little spark that way."
Williams carried the ball four times for 22 yards against the Atlanta Falcons, quenching an eight-game drought in which he was either did not play or was mostly a special teams player. The last time he saw action was against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4, when he was actually one yard away from tying Gibson for the rushing lead in that game. Williams provided a handful of impressive runs, including a 23-yard scamper that got Washington in range for a field goal.
"And he's done a great job of when he has gotten that opportunity," Turner said.
Williams did not have runs with similar gains against the Falcons, but they were just as impactful. He had back-to-back runs of nine and one yard in the third quarter, which helped Washington stay on the field with the score tied at 10. Taylor Heinicke threw his second touchdown pass to John Bates one play later, giving Washington the lead.
Next, Williams had back-to-back runs again in the fourth quarter, this time totaling 12 yards, which contributed to Washington getting in field goal range to go up by six points.
Washington occasionally needs a change of pace from Gibson and Robinson, and Williams is more than happy to fill that role. The Commanders should be, too. After all, he averaged 7.6 yards per carry this season, so he knows how gain positive yardage.
"As the year goes on, I'm sure he is going to get more and more, and we feel really good about him when that happens," Turner said.
Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Commanders.
The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.
- The Washington Post's Barry Svrluga writes that when Jonathan Allen speaks, the Commanders listen.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier looks at why the Commanders' run-heavy offense is working so well.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala and Mark Maske writes about the turf at MetLife Stadium.
- The Washington Times' Matthew Paras takes a closer look at Jahan Dotson's targets.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux breaks down Saquon Barkley ahead of Sunday's game.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey writes about how the secondary is contributing to the Commanders' success.
- USA Today's Bryan Manning writes about Joey Slye being named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month.
- ProFootballTalk's Josh Alper writes about Daron Payne capitalizing on his opportunities to get to the quarterback.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about Commanders' thoughts on the turf vs. grass debate.
- The Washington Times' Matthew Paras looks at how Washington's shift on offense is affecting Jahan Dotson.
Check Out What's On Commanders.com:
- Practice report | Washington's offensive line has been 'fantastic' during Commanders' winning streak
- Practice report | Containing Mariota provided Commanders with game plan for Daniel Jones, Giants
- Commanders vs. Giants preview | A pivotal battle against the 'G-Men'
- From the booth | A few asks
- Week 13 power rankings | Commanders continue to collect national attention
- 'A heck of a tandem': Jon Allen, Daron Payne are a duo to be reckoned with
- NFC playoff picture | Commanders get into the Wild Card discussion
- Numbers to know from Washington's Week 12 win over Atlanta
- Commanders-Falcons Stats & Snaps
- Instant Analysis | Washington survives again with game-saving INT, improves to 7-5
- 5 takeaways from Washington's third consecutive win
- Game Balls | 3 standouts in the Commanders' win over the Falcons
The Washington Commanders were back on the field for their second day of preparation for the New York Giants. Check out the top photos from Thursday afternoon. Photos by Kourtney Carroll/Washington Commanders