GREEN BAY — It’s next Williams up, it appears, at running back for the Green Bay Packers.
With running back Jamaal Williams missing his second straight day of practice while in the concussion protocol following a helmet-to-helmet hit in last week’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, rookie sixth-round pick Dexter Williams is in line to back up starter Aaron Jones in Sunday’s game at Dallas.
“I feel very confident in where I’m at. I just have to go out there and do my job,” said Dexter Williams, who survived the final cuts after an up-and-down training camp but has yet to be active for a game this season.
“Me and Jamaal are two different guys. He’s a bigger back. I’m a smaller back. We definitely have some similarities but at the same time we’re different. He’s his own person. I’m my own person. I feel like I could definitely step up and help out and do what I need to do. I feel like I play a great role in this offense. I’m just here to do my job.”
With Jones and Jamaal Williams not playing in the preseason, Dexter Williams led the Packers in rushing with 37 carries for 128 yards and a touchdown. But he struggled mightily in pass protection and it’s hard to predict how ready he is for an expanded role.
“I think the biggest thing is, he’s done everything the right way the last month. He knows all his football stuff in the classroom,” running backs coach Ben Sirmans said. “The only thing you don’t have now is you don’t have another preseason game to see if everything that I’ve been seeing (in practice and in meetings) that I like will be executed to the point of us having the confidence of, ‘All right, he’s ready to go.’
“Based on what he’s shown be so far, we feel pretty good that he at least knows what he’s doing. But it’s like being at the driving range. At the driving range, you can be knocking the heck out of the ball, but now you have to go onto the course, where it’s real life and you might shank it.
“I don’t know. And I won’t know until he’s in a real situation.”
With Dexter Williams inactive and Jamaal Williams injured on the first play of the game against Philadelphia, coach Matt LaFleur was cautious with his usage of Jones and had fullback Danny Vitale as the emergency halfback. Against the Eagles’ stout front, Jones ran 13 times for 21 yards and caught six passes for 37 yards out of the backfield.
“You’ve just got to be mindful of, what is your reaction if something does happen to one of those guys? And that’s kind of what we were faced with last week,” LaFleur said after Thursday’s practice. “Losing Jamaal, especially on the first play of the game, it adjusted our mindset and how we were going to attack the defense.”
Another Williams arrives
Outside linebacker Tim Williams, claimed off waivers from the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday, arrived and passed his physical in time to take part in Thursday’s practice.
“I’m just eager and excited to be around a new group of guys,” he said. “I want to work harder and just prove that I can help this team win.”
A third-round pick (No. 78 overall) from Alabama in 2017, the 6-foot-3, 252-pound Williams, 25, was teammates in Baltimore with Packers outside linebacker and defensive captain Za’Darius Smith.
He had played in all four of the Ravens’ games this season, registering just two tackles. He saw his playing time drop from 27 defensive snaps against Arizona in Week 2 to 15 snaps against Kansas City in Week 3 to just seven snaps in the Ravens’ 40-25 loss to Cleveland on Sunday, and coach John Harbaugh made it clear the Ravens were ready to move on from him.
“It’s a fresh start for him. He’s out here with me now, so he’s going to be good. I can tell you that,” Smith said. “He’s going to be OK now. He’s in Green Bay now.”
As expected, No. 1 wide receiver Davante Adams (toe) did not practice for the second straight day, making the odds of him playing against the Cowboys more remote. … Cornerbacks Kevin King (groin) and Tony Brown (hamstring) also did not practice. … Right tackle Bryan Bulaga (shoulder) practiced on a limited basis for the second straight day. … Outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell (shoulder) was able to practice on a limited basis, while safety Will Redmond (concussion) was a full participant. … Wide receiver Jake Kumerow (shoulder) practiced fully for the second straight day and proclaimed himself ready to play after missing the past two games.