The ongoing absence of defensive tackle Brandon Williams certainly won’t make it any easier for the Baltimore Ravens to strengthen its biggest weakness on defense. It’s extra unfortunate, too, because the Chicago Bears are as committed to running the football as any team in the NFL.
The Ravens announced on Friday that Williams is doubtful to play in Sunday’s game against the Bears due to a foot injury.
G/C Matt Skura and RB Terrance West are out for Sunday's game against the Bears. DT Brandon Williams and LB Tim Williams are doubtful.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 13, 2017
At 6-1 and 340 pounds, Williams is among the most imposing defensive tackles in the game. Though his lack of explosiveness keeps him from getting to the quarterback, the fifth-year pro has been a linchpin of Baltimore’s run defense ever since becoming a full-time starter during his second NFL season.
Williams suffered the injury in his team’s Week 2 win over the rival Cleveland Browns. The Ravens have allowed 166, 173 and 143 rushing yards, respectively, in the three games he’s missed since, pushing them to the league’s ninth-worst run defense. Earlier this week, Williams hinted at a return on Twitter by posting a scene from the movie Tombstone.
— Brandon Williams (@BrandonW_66) October 11, 2017
It is also worth noting that the Bears currently rank ninth in the NFL in both rushing yards and yards per carry. Chicago’s focus on the ground game has increased since naming rookie Mitchell Trubisky the team’s full-time starting quarterback. Running back Jordan Howard is among the most well-rounded rushers in football, and diminutive rookie Tarik Cohen adds a big-lay element to Chicago’s rushing attack that must be accounted for every snap.