April 24, 2024

The gesture was small but significant, recognizing a perfect moment for Kyren Williams in an imperfect performance by the Rams’ second-year running back — and by the Rams as a whole.

Williams, who fumbled twice in the first half Sunday against the Washington Commanders, steadied himself in the second half, when the Rams needed him most.

After he ran the ball up the middle for a two-point conversion early in the third quarter he earned a smile and congratulations from coach Sean McVay, who draped his arm around Williams’ shoulders in a show of support that was clearly visible on the giant video screen at SoFi Stadium.

McVay didn’t have to stick with Williams after he fumbled on a run inside the 10-yard line early in the second quarter, but Williams bounced back to carry the ball one yard for the Rams’ first touchdown and his eighth this season.

McVay could have buried Williams on the bench after Williams fumbled a short pass from Matthew Stafford later in the quarter but he chose to stay with Williams, which played out well for the stocky running back and for the Rams in a 28-20 victory over the Commanders.

Williams had 27 carries for 152 yards and a touchdown and added three receiving yards as he surpassed 1,000 scrimmage yards, the first Rams running back to do that since Todd Gurley in 2019.

The Rams, 7-7 after winning four of their last five games, took ownership of an NFC wild-card playoff spot, an improbable accomplishment in a season that was supposed to be about rebuilding and hoping for an early pick in next year’s draft.

The game wasn’t perfect. The Rams’ red-zone foibles cropped up again, and the score was closer than it should have been in the late stages before the Rams’ defense made the Commanders use up the clock.

But McVay, in putting his arm around Williams’ shoulders, showed he can tolerate mistakes as long as the response to those errors is as strong as Williams’ responses were Sunday.

“It means everything,” Williams said of McVay’s support. “He was telling me right when it happened, ‘I’ve still got trust in you. I’ve still got 100% trust in you.’ That’s just who he is. I don’t expect him to change over little mistakes that happen in this game.

“That’s football. That stuff happens. It’s on me to not happen, but you’ve always got to think that mistakes happen. No one’s perfect.”

Rams running back Kyren Williams (23) fumbles against the Commanders.

Commanders safety Percy Butler (35) forces Kyren Williams (23) to fumble, one of two turnovers by the Rams running back.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

McVay said he saw early that Williams’ grip on the ball wasn’t as secure as it should have been, but said the running back’s fumbles were correctable and not symptoms of a chronic problem.

“He’s a great player. We wouldn’t be in a lot of these situations in a positive way if it wasn’t for him,” McVay said. “I love the way that he finished the game out.

“So he’ll learn from it and he’s the type of guy that has the right football character, the right mindset and mentality to be able to use these things as learning opps. Look forward in a positive way. He still made big-time contributions to this game in a positive way.”

The Rams' Kyren Williams avoids a tackle by the Commanders' KJ Henry.

The Rams’ Kyren Williams (23) avoids a tackle by the Commanders’ KJ Henry (55).

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Williams had foot and ankle injuries in 2022 that resulted in two surgeries and limited him to 10 games. He beat out Cam Akers for the starting running back job this season, but Williams injured his ankle in Game 6 this season and missed four games.

When he returned, he didn’t ease his way back in. He made an immediate impact by racking up 143 yards rushing and adding 61 receiving yards (with two touchdowns) in the Rams’ 37-14 rout of Arizona.

He’s generously listed on their roster as 5-foot-9 and 194 pounds, and a lot of that is heart. Stafford knows that as well as anyone, and he was quick to encourage Williams after the fumbles.

“Just keep going. Keep playing,” he said when asked what he told Williams. “It goes back to fundamentals. Just continue to trust those fundamentals, and he’s as conscientious of a guy as we have on our football team. We all know the kind of work he puts in and the spark he gives our offense. Great to see him get back out there and continue to play well after that.”

Williams took responsibility for his fumbles.

“If I’m going to get the ball that many times, I’ve got to be able to have great ball security, keep it high and tight no matter what the situation is. Just be more aware. That’s on me. I will fix it and be better next week,” he said, though “next week” is really Thursday at home against New Orleans.

“It’s a big mistake but you can’t think of it like that,” he said. “You’ve got to be able to keep going. There was a whole lot of game left when that happened. If I would have put my head down, I would have let my team down and I would have let everybody else down. That’s not something I do as a team player. If I make a mistake, I own it and be better because of it.”

McVay blamed himself for what he described as poor red-zone play calling, which has become something of a pattern. But it all came out right in the end for the Rams’ playoff chances. Williams said that was more important to him than passing 1,000 scrimmage yards.

“Every single day is a blessing. You look at it, it might be hard one day but it’s still a blessing,” he said. “I’ve been doing this since I was in second grade. This is all I ever wanted to do. This is all I want to do. So playing good football in the month of December is huge for this team and for everybody that’s a part of it, and we’re going to keep on doing what we’ve got to do.”

That’s an opportunity he and they can’t fumble.

Bingo Blitz Credits Farming Strategies: Success Tips
Coin Master Spins Farming Strategies: Insights from Pros
genshin impact redeem codes january 2023 mobile matters
Get Free Zems on ZEPETO: Tips and Tricks
match masters arena 7 funny game like paper clash royale what
TikTok Coin Generator Safety Tips
Unlimited Gems in Brawl Stars: Myth or Reality?
new cheats dragon city free gems mod generator freemind
free family island hack cheats unlimited rubies and energy
how to get diamonds in hay day tips tricks youtube
tutorial how i get unlimited diamonds in litmatch app youtube
myths of moonrise codes september 2022 g7r
Boost Your TikTok Influence with Free Coins
Unlocking TikTok Coins: Insider Techniques
Comment obtenir légalement et rapidement des pièces gratuites sur TikTok
Maximiza tus Ganancias de Monedas TikTok con Estos Consejos
Coin Master Free Spin Generators: Fact or Fiction?
Insights from Pros: Coin Master Free Spins Farming Strategies
Avakin Life Avacoins Farming Demystified

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *