Carnell “Cadillac” Williams’ remarkable comeback from his second torn patella tendon in as many years took a surprising turn Tuesday.
In a move sure equally to thrill Cadillac fans and to annoy a nation of fantasy football owners, Bucs coach Raheem Morris said that Williams will start Thursday’s preseason game as part of a three-man running back rotation including Derrick Ward and Earnest Graham, in that order.
Morris plans to roll out Caddy for two series, Ward for two series, and then Earnest Graham will play the fifth series. The order may change, but this is a plan Morris intends to keep heading into the regular season.
“If it works, that’s what I’d like to do. I want to go into it with that thought,” Morris said.
Ward got solid money in free agency, but it’s clear Morris doesn’t plan to use him as a true lead back. Williams has a chance Thursday to be a big part of the team’s plans.
The Bucs held Cadillac out of their first two games as a precaution, so this is his first true test of whether his rebuilt knee can hold up to contact. If he passes, it appears a sizeable amount of regular season work awaits.
It was only a few months ago that conventional wisdom about Williams said he may not make the team or play regular season football again.
Conventional wisdom, as so often happens, didn’t know a damn thing.