2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Panthers RB Williams ready for extra work at 30

By STEVE REED - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-05 17:02

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - DeAngelo Williams isn't buying the adage that running backs hit the wall when they turn 30 - at least not in his case.

Williams, who turned 30 in April, said because he split carries the majority of his career with the Carolina Panthers he still feels durable enough to carry the load on offense.

The Panthers will ask him to do just that early on this season with backfield mate Jonathan Stewart out at least five games with an ankle injury.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said fullback Mike Tolbert and Armond Smith will get some carries, but he's counting on Williams to be the workhorse as the team turns to a more traditional running game.

``I don't have as much wear and tear as a 30-year-old back that has played seven, eight or nine years at that position and took the blunt of the force and bulk of the carries,'' said Williams, who enters his eighth season in the NFL, all with the Panthers. ``I still feel like I'm young. I know I'm young. In football years, they say running backs are old (by that age), but I don't buy it at all.''

Williams, Carolina's all-time leader rusher with 5,784 yards, will be tested right away.

The Panthers open the season Sunday at home against the Seattle Seahawks, whose defense allowed the fewest points in the NFL last season.

Williams was held to 6 yards on six carries and fumbled once in Carolina's 16-12 loss to Seattle last October, the low point of his season.

The following week he was benched for Stewart.

But when Stewart injured his ankle later in the year, Williams was thrust back into the starting lineup and finished strong, averaging 89 yards rushing per game and 5.4 yards per carry over the final five games.

He closed the season by rushing for a franchise-record 210 yards against the New Orleans Saints, a game that was meaningless in terms of playoff implications but may have saved Williams' job.

He agreed to take a pay cut this offseason, but teammates said he's as hungry as ever.

Williams' longtime teammate Jordan Gross said he hasn't seen Williams' play slip at all even though his 4.3 yards per carry last season was down slightly from his career average of 4.9 yards per carry.

``He looks the same,'' said Gross, the team's left tackle. ``You watch him run and watch his style. He's never been a run-you-over kind of guy. But his style hasn't changed. He runs the same. He speed is the same. His hair has gotten longer, that's the only difference.''

Rivera smiled and cracked a joke when asked about Williams' ability to be the primary ball carrier this season at 30.

``He told me he was 28,'' Rivera said.

Rivera said Williams remains a weapon, calling him a true professional who ``really works hard and does things the right way.''

But Rivera added the Panthers are a better team when they can use the one-two punch of Williams and Stewart in the backfield.

``Hopefully once we get through the PUP list thing we'll have Jonathan ready to roll as well,'' Rivera said. ``It will probably be a good thing because DeAngelo will probably be at a point where he will need a little bit of a break or a helping hand.''

NOTES: Panthers LB Jon Beason returned to practice after getting the day off Wednesday, but starting strong safety Mike Mitchell sat out after what Rivera described as a ``setback'' with his calf injury. If Mitchell is unable to play Sunday recently signed free agent Quintin Mikell would get the start.

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Online: AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org

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Follow Steve Reed on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SteveReedAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 21 07:42p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Andrew Norwell, RB DeAngelo Williams, OT Garry Williams, DL Greg Hardy, LB Jason Williams, QB Joe Webb, SS Tre Boston inactive for Week 3.

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 21 07:42p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh) is inactive for the Week 3 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

B.W. WebbSep 21 07:42p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared CB B.W. Webb, DT Daniel McCullers, RB Dri Archer, QB Landry Jones, WR Martavis Bryant, OG Ramon Foster, OG Wesley Johnson inactive for Week 3.

Marcus EasleySep 21 03:32p

Buffalo Bills WR Marcus Easley (knee) and SS Da'Norris Searcy (ankle) suffered injuries during the team's Week 3 game and are considered questionable to return.

Greg ScruggsSep 21 03:22p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared OT Garry Gilliam, LB Bruce Irvin, OT Andrew McDonald, RB Christine Michael, WR Kevin Norwood, DE Greg Scruggs, CB Tharold Simon inactive for Week 3.

Jamaal CharlesSep 21 03:12p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared SS Eric Berry, RB Jamaal Charles, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, QB Aaron Murray, DE Damion Square, RB De'Anthony Thomas, WR Albert Wilson inactive for Week 3.

Carson PalmerSep 21 03:12p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) has been declared inactive for the team's Week 3 game.

Tony CarterSep 21 03:12p

The Denver Broncos have declared CB Tony Carter, OG Ben Garland, WR Cody Latimer, LB Lerentee McCray, OT Michael Schofield, LB Danny Trevathan, DT Mitch Unrein inactive for Week 3.

Jamaal CharlesSep 21 03:11p

Charles is out for the Week 3 game.

Mike PounceySep 21 03:02p

The Miami Dolphins have declared DE Terrence Fede, LB Koa Misi, RB Knowshon Moreno, C Mike Pouncey, OG Shelley Smith, LB Jordan Tripp and OT Billy Turner inactive for Week 3.

Vernon DavisSep 21 02:52p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (ankle, knee) has been declared inactive for Week 3.

Vernon DavisSep 21 02:52p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared CB Tramaine Brock, DE Cornellius Carradine, OT Anthony Davis, TE Vernon Davis, C Marcus Martin, TE Vance McDonald, WR Quinton Patton inactive for Week 3.

Chad HenneSep 21 02:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles entered the team's Week 3 game in the second half after QB Chad Henne was benched.

Dave ZastudilSep 21 02:52p

The Arizona Cardinals have declared LB Victor Butler, LB Glenn Carson, TE Rob Housler, LB Alex Okafor, QB Carson Palmer, NT Alameda Ta'amu, P Dave Zastudil inactive for Week 3.

Stephen TullochSep 21 02:42p

Detroit Lions LB Stephen Tulloch (knee) and FS Don Carey (hamstring) suffered injuries during the team's Week 3 game and are considered questionable to return.

Dennis PittaSep 21 02:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) was carted off after suffering a right hip injury during the team's Week 3 game.

Matt CasselSep 21 02:02p

Minnesota Vikings QB Matt Cassel (toe) was carted off the field in Week 3 after suffering a toe injury. He is considered questionable to return.

Danny WoodheadSep 21 01:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Danny Woodhead (undisclosed) was carted off the field after suffering an undisclosed injury in Week 3.

Adrian PetersonSep 21 12:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's lawyers are looking for an expedited trial for Peterson and do not want the trial to begin next year.

Ray RiceSep 21 12:22p

Free-agent RB Ray Rice (Ravens) will argue during his appeal hearing that the tape that was released of his domestic violence incident was edited, according to a source. Rice [ More ]

Keenan AllenSep 21 12:04p

Allen is active for the Week 3 game.

Shane VereenSep 21 12:02p

New England Patriots RB Shane Vereen (shoulder) is active against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, Sept. 21.

A.J. GreenSep 21 11:52a

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) is active against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Sept. 21.

Anthony SpencerSep 21 11:52a

The Dallas Cowboys have declared DL Anthony Spencer, DL Davon Coleman, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, LB Justin Durant, LB Rolando McClain, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 3.

Bryce BrownSep 21 11:52a

The Buffalo Bills have declared RB Bryce Brown, TE Chris Gragg, OG Cyril Richardson, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, LB Keith Rivers, LB Randell Johnson, CB Ross Cockrell inactive for Week 3.

Aaron DobsonSep 21 11:52a

New England Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins is active for the Week 3 game Sunday, Sept. 21. WR Aaron Dobson is a healthy scratch for the game.

Aaron DobsonSep 21 11:52a

The New England Patriots have declared WR Aaron Dobson, CB Don Jones, RB James White, OL Josh Kline, DL Michael Buchanan, C Ryan Wendell, DE Zach Moore inactive for Week 3.

Akeem JordanSep 21 11:42a

The Washington Redskins have declared LB Akeem Jordan, TE Jordan Reed, DL Kedric Golston, OT Morgan Moses, QB Robert Griffin III, WR Santana Moss, CB Tracy Porter inactive for Week 3.

Brandon WattsSep 21 11:42a

The Minnesota Vikings have declared LB Brandon Watts, WR Charles X. Johnson, QB Christian Ponder, OG David Yankey, WR Rodney Smith, DL Scott Crichton, CB Shaun Prater inactive for Week 3.

Arthur JonesSep 21 11:42a

The Indianapolis Colts have declared DL Arthur Jones, LB Chris Carter, WR Da'Rick Rogers, LB Jerrell Freeman, OL Joe Reitz, C Khaled Holmes, OG Lance Louis inactive for Week 3.

Brandon ThompsonSep 21 11:42a

The Cincinnati Bengals have declared DL Brandon Thompson, CB Chris Lewis-Harris, OG Kevin Zeitler, WR Marvin Jones, RB Rex Burkhead, LB Sean Porter, LB Vontaze Burfict inactive for Week 3.

Ben TateSep 21 11:42a

The Cleveland Browns have declared RB Ben Tate, DL Eric Martin, TE Gerell Robinson, DL Ish Kitchen, WR LaRon Byrd, CB Pierre Desir, DB Robert Nelson inactive for Week 3.

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