Thanks to his 132 total yards in Sunday’s home win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams went over 10,000 yards from scrimmage for his career and is now the 13th active NFL player to hit that statistical mark.
While Williams only averaged 2.9 yards Sunday on his career-high 32 carries, it was a very effective performance nonetheless in the rainy game conditions at Heinz Field. Additionally, Williams caught 4 passes in the game for 38 yards with one of them resulting in a touchdown that gave the Steelers a 24-9 lead with 6:48 left in the fourth quarter
“You look at the field conditions, you look at what we were able to do during the course of the game, we knew that it was going to be a two-chin strap game and we knew also that it was going to be a high running game as well, because of the field conditions and just the weather conditions, period,” said Williams after Sunday’s win. “So I’ll take a 3.0, and a win any day as opposed to a 7.0 and a loss.”
Through the first two weeks of the 2016 regular season, Williams leads the league in rushing with 237 yards and is second in yards from scrimmage by just one yard behind Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware. With starting running back Le’Veon Bell set to return in two weeks from his three game suspension, Williams was asked in so many words after Sunday’s game if he could see himself being part of a two-running back system moving forward into the regular season.
“Absolutely, but I don’t know, moving forward, how much were going to use a two-running back system,” said Williams. “I mean; we’ll have that option. The thing I wanted to do once I got here is when L. Bell came off the field it didn’t take any pressure off the defense and that’s been my main goal since I’ve been here and having the rapport I have with the offensive line, as well as the rapport that he has with them, I think that the two-back system would work here. But again, L. Bell is so dynamic that when he plays the game that hell, I don’t want him to come off the field.”
In addition to becoming the 13th active NFL player to reach 10,000 yards from scrimmage on Sunday, Williams also became the 101st player to reach that mark for a career. Additionally, Williams’ 32 carries on Sunday against the Bengals now gives him 1,690 for his career and moved him into 59th place on the NFL’s all-time rushing attempts list, and his 94 yards rushing in the game now has him at 7,990 for his career and 50th overall on the all-time rushing yardage list.
Williams has been quite the asset for the Steelers since they signed him as a street free agent in 2015 and even though Bell is set to return in a few more weeks, he should be allowed to continue adding to his career numbers as a backup for the remainder of the season in an effort to keep the team’s primary ball carrier fresher for what we all hope will ultimately wind up being a long playoff run.