Keiland Williams was with the Washington Redskins a year ago, believing he had a shot to start after showing signs of promise as a rookie.
The Redskins surprised Williams by cutting him just before last season and he was claimed by Detroit the next day to bolster their depth without then-rookie Mikel Leshoure and with lingering questions about Jahvid Best’s durability.
Detroit needs options in its backfield because it won’t have Best for an indefinite period and Leshoure for at least the first two weeks of the season.
Williams gives the team one more outlet when Matthew Stafford hands the ball off along with Kevin Smith and Stefan Logan.
“Are we better with Leshoure and Best? Definitely,” Williams said. “But we have guys can step up and get the job done.”
Williams showed that in a preseason loss Friday night against Cleveland, running for 71 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. Williams was used as a backup behind Kevin Smith, but the performance probably helped his chances to compete to be the team’s starting running back in Week 1.
Best said Monday he still doesn’t know when he’ll be cleared for contact after having two concussions last year.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Best said to a reporter.
Leshoure is struggling to come back from a hamstring injury and he has been suspended by the NFL for the first two games of the season.
“You definitely don’t want anything bad to happen to anyone no matter if you’re competing or not, but at the same time that brings opportunities for other people,” Williams said. “You just have to capitalize.”
He did against the Browns, running with power on a 5-yard TD the first time he got the ball.
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley’s court hearing on charges including driving under the influence and attempting to elude police has been pushed back to Sept. 26.
Mobile, Ala., County District Judge George Hardesty Jr. granted defense attorney Sid Harrell’s request for a delay on Friday. Fairley earlier had a hearing on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge in Mobile Municipal Court continued until Nov. 27.
Alabama state troopers say he was driving about 100 mph and initially refused to pull over. The 2011 first-round draft pick’s trial is scheduled for four days before the Lions face the Minnesota Vikings.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said that he wouldn’t necessarily wait for court proceedings to run their course before disciplining a player.
All-Pro WR Calvin Johnson (left index finger) , DE Kyle Vanden Bosch (knee), WR Ryan Broyles (left knee) and S Don Carey (left hamstring) were among the banged-up players who didn’t practice. … S Louis Delmas, who had surgery on his left knee last week, watched the workout while sitting on a second-floor terrace. … Detroit police officers were invited guests of the Lions at practice. “When our guys go out to do their job, they have a chance of pulling a hamstring,” said Schwartz, whose father was a police officer in the Baltimore area. “Those guys put their life on the line every day they go to work and they do it for the citizens of Detroit.”
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