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Cardinals coach Arians: Ryan Williams 'has a chance this year'

It would be easy to assume Ryan Williams is not part of the Arizona Cardinals' plans going forward.

A former second-round pick out of Virginia Tech, Williams barely made the team last season and then was inactive for all 16 games as Rashard Mendenhall, Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor got the majority of the carries.

Mendenhall is a free agent, though, and it's possible he won't be brought back. Could that open the door for Williams?

"Ryan has a chance this year," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis Friday. "He went into training camp, missed the entire preseason. It's very hard to become a player during the season when you've got three guys in front of you.

"And he did impressive things on our scout team."

Arians praised the work effort the 23-year-old showed during the season, adding that he needs to carry it all over to this upcoming training camp.

Of course, Arians did not discount the idea that Williams may not be long for the team, although that would only be the case if they find someone who is deemed to be a better fit for the team.

"There's always a door number two," he said. "If door number two is better when we look behind it, he'll be gone.

"But he can play. He can play."

Williams has been plagued by injuries during his three seasons in Arizona. A ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee ended his rookie campaign in the preseason, and a shoulder injury cut his sophomore season short after just five games, where he rushed for 164 yards on 58 carries.

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