GREEN BAY – Jamaal Williams handled the heaviest workload of his young NFL career on Sunday, playing all but five of the Packers’ 90 offensive snaps against the New York Jets.
The second-year running back responded with 156 total yards and a touchdown on 21 touches, his most since carrying the ball 22 times last December against the Detroit Lions.
With Aaron Jones being placed on injured reserve last week, Williams was the only running back on the Packers’ four-man depth chart who had carried the ball for Green Bay this season.
“The guy, he battled his tail off,” said interim head coach Joe Philbin during his Thursday morning news conference. “Sometimes you do what you have to do when you have to do it. I think that's kind of what Sunday was all about. We have some other young guys that we like at that position, but he seemed as, I think the game kind of reflected it, he seemed to have a hot hand. He was on top of his game, and so we kind of rode him.”
The Packers had 14 players pop up on the injury report Wednesday, with receivers Davante Adams (knee), Randall Cobb (concussion) and Equanimeous St. Brown (concussion), left tackle David Bakhitiari (hip), tight end Jimmy Graham (knee/thumb), linebacker Clay Matthews (back), and cornerback Jaire Alexander (groin) all sitting out due to injury.
While Philbin cut back practice Wednesday and planned for a shortened session Thursday, he doesn’t have any doubts about the team’s ability to field a healthy 46-man roster for Sunday’s regular-season finale against Detroit.
“Obviously we have ample time,” said Philbin of the challenges of building a game plan. “We’ll give these guys as much time as they need and the objective would be the 46 guys that are No. 1 healthy enough to play and contribute to a victory would be the direction we head.”