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Will Falcons RB Damien Williams Make Roster?

How many running backs will Atlanta carry on its 53-man roster?

When the Atlanta Falcons signed running back Damien Williams and released fellow tailback Mike Davis this offseason, Williams seemed poised to replace Davis as Cordarrelle Patterson's lead backfield running mate.

However, as the offseason progresses, rookie fifth-round running back Tyler Allgeier continues to generate belief that he'll be Atlanta's second rusher. With Allgeier's expanded role, Williams naturally will be moved down the pecking order - perhaps to the point where his roster spot is in jeopardy. 

According to The Athletic, Williams could face competition for his roster spot from recently converted cornerback and return specialist Avery Williams.

If Atlanta keeps only three tailbacks then Williams, who was signed as a free agent in the offseason, could be competing for a roster spot with second-year pro Avery Williams. Avery Williams was converted from defensive back to running back in the offseason and also was the Falcons starting punt returner last year. If Avery Williams can prove his worth in that punt return spot this year, he’ll have a decided advantage over Damien Williams. - The Athletic's Josh Kendall

Damien Williams' best NFL season came in 2019 with the Kansas City Chiefs, when he posted 498 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 111 carries in addition to 213 receiving yards and two score on 30 catches.

Williams was key in the Chiefs' Super Bowl LIV victory, as he ran for 104 yards and scored twice in Kansas City's 24-20 comeback win. The 30-year-old opted out of the 2020 season to help take care of his mother, who was undergoing cancer treatments.

As a member of the Chicago Bears, Williams totaled 164 yards and reached the endzone twice on 40 carries across 12 games (two starts) last season. 

Williams' best performance came in a Week 5 start against the Las Vegas Raiders, in which he accumulated 64 yards on the ground and 20 through the air while scoring a touchdown.

Avery Williams, a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, played in 15 games for the Falcons during his rookie campaign, largely as a kick and punt returner. He also played nickel corner as the team's secondary battled injuries down the stretch.

Transitioning to running back this offseason, the 5-9, 195-pound Williams has natural playmaking ability and has impressed throughout the offseason.

Atlanta's running backs room also includes Qadree Ollison, who ran for 105 yards on 21 carries last season, and Caleb Huntley, a 2021 undrafted free agent who spent time on the team's practice squad.

Damien Williams arrived in Atlanta with the expectations of contributing early, and while he still might do so, his path to a roster spot - let alone playing time - isn't as clear as it once seemed. Now, the eight-year veteran will look to carve out a role starting with training camp in two weeks.