TC20: 5) When will Bills RB Karlos Williams be ready?

TC20: 5) When will Bills RB Karlos Williams be ready?
Posted at 4:38 PM, Jul 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-18 09:27:58-04

At the end of the month the Buffalo Bills will reconvene for training camp, in what will be a crucial time for a team that has playoff aspirations in 2016. There are a plethora of questions facing the team as we get closer to the start of camp at St. John Fisher College.

Through the weeks leading up to camp, 7 ABC will examine the 20 most pressing questions the Bills have for the upcoming season.

During spring workouts, one offensive contributor showed up overweight, which leads us to our next question:

5) When will Karlos Williams be ready?

(**NOTE: This was written and published before his four-game suspension)

It was a truly unexpected scenario for the Buffalo Bills.

Fresh off a season in which a rookie running back showed in a more-than-capable manner that he could make an impact, the Bills likely thought the future for Karlos Williams was bright. And it still might be, but the way he showed up to minicamp left the team with some surprise.

All the while during the offseason, Williams admitted to eating with his pregnant fianceé at all hours of the day, and he was out of shape and overweight when he checked into mandatory minicamp in June. As a result, the team didn't even use him during practices.

All they had him do was go through conditioning workouts with the training staff, and at times, it wasn't pretty. Williams, specifically on the first day, was visibly exhausted by the workouts -- but it's a necessary evil for both him and the team.

The Bills view Williams as a big part of the offensive output for 2016. He's the player to give LeSean McCoy some rest, and in the event of an injury, Williams would be the guy. During the mandatory minicamp, head coach Rex Ryan said they weren't going to give the running back an ultimatum to get all the way back to his normal playing weight, but instead, to give him an attainable goal to reach by the beginning of training camp.

Once he gets to St. John Fisher College, he'll have to go through testing which deems a player's readiness to play, and has claimed several out-of-shape players to start the summer on an injury list. In the nearly six-week break in between minicamp and the start of training camp, Williams will have had to keep the work that he started in June going and practice restraint when it comes to eating poorly.

The best case scenario for the Bills is if he kept to his workout and eating regimen, and hit the initial target weight set for him. Even then, the Bills might want to start him out with conditioning only, just to get him where they want him for the start of the season.

But if he does not stick to that plan, beginning training camp on a reserve list is a real possibility for the second-year runner, and hurt his stock internally -- because coaches generally do not like when their players show up for the season unprepared. It would set him back, and create an opportunity for both Mike Gillislee and rookie Jonathan Williams to steal some playing time that would have been his.

It all depends on the weigh-in, and the subsequent conditioning test.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

Bills Training Camp 20 #TC20

1) Is Tyrod ready to take the next step?

2) Who steps up in place of Shaq Lawson?

3) Which wide receiver will win the No. 3 job?

4) Do the Bills have the defensive depth?

5) When will Karlos Williams be ready?