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Antonio Williams has shot at Giants’ final running back spot

Williams spent most of last two seasons on Buffalo Bills’ practice squad

Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle Jamie Germano via Imagn Content Services, LLC

In a perfect world Saquon Barkley could just take every handoff for the New York Giants, but Big Blue does need to keep some other running backs around while Barkley looks to return to stardom.

Antonio Williams is yet another former Buffalo Bill looking to turn familiarity with Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen into playing time with the Giants. Let’s look at Williams’ potential as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the team’s 90-man roster.

By the numbers

Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 215
Age: 24
Position: Running back
Experience: 2 years
Contract: Two-year, $1.585 million deal | 2022 Cap hit: $710,000

Career to date

Williams spent most of his college career as a backup in committees filled with more notable running backs. After rushing for just over 300 yards in two years at Ohio State, he transferred to North Carolina to play behind Javonte Williams and Michael Carter. He found more success there, totaling 826 yards and eight touchdowns in two seasons while averaging over five yards per carry.

The Bills signed Williams as an undrafted free agent in 2020. He has only appeared in one NFL game during his two seasons there, but he made the most of the opportunity: a January 2021 blowout win over the Dolphins in which Williams rushed for 63 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. Most of his time was spent on the practice squad however.

The Giants signed Williams in January in Schoen’s first roster move with the team.

2022 outlook

Last year, the Giants carried four running backs on their active roster. If the new regime does the same, ttat leaves two spots available after Saquon Barkley and Matt Breida, and four competitors: Williams, Gary Brightwell, Sandro Platzgummer, and Jashaun Corbin.

Brightwell has demonstrated special teams ability but hasn’t shown much as a runner. Platzgummer, a member of the International Pathway Program, is still raw. Daboll and Schoen obviously see something in Williams, but the roster is loaded with former Bills; they can’t all stick around.