When Green Bay running backs Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery both went down with injuries in the first half against Chicago on Sunday, former BYU back Jamaal Williams was the next man up.
The Cougars’ all-time leading rusher became the Packers’ lead back in the second half of the Packers’ 23-16 victory over the Bears. In his first extensive action as a rookie, Williams carried the ball 20 times for 67 yards and had a 7-yard reception.
“He had to make hard yards today, and he did a heck of a job of it just to keep the sticks moving. I really like the way he played,” Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said in the postgame press conference.
Williams had three carries for 13 yards on Green Bay’s first second-half possession, which resulted in a field goal, and he later had seven straight touches on a possession that also resulted in a field goal. Williams converted a fourth-and-1 near midfield on that drive, carrying the ball for 4 yards.
Williams also had a pair of 6-yard runs on the Packers’ lone touchdown drive in the second half, extending their lead to 10 points, and picked up a key first down late on a 4-yard carry as Green Bay was trying to run the clock nursing a seven-point lead.
“It’s sad for Aaron and Ty to go down, but they prepared us enough to, you know, the next man is up. I was ready to go and make sure I help the team win,” Williams said in a postgame interview posted on the Packers' website.
No injury updates were available on Jones or Montgomery immediately following the game.
Williams now has 101 rushing yards and a touchdown on 31 carries this season, as well as five receptions for 45 yards.
Lawson’s first touchdown
Former Utah State cornerback Nevin Lawson made an impressive play Sunday for his first NFL touchdown.
The fourth-year Detroit corner forced a fumble on Cleveland tight end Seth DeValve following a second-quarter reception, then Lawson fell on the ball and, before getting touched, got up and returned the fumble 44 yards down the sideline for a touchdown.
The play gave the Lions a 17-10 lead, their first lead of the day, with 3:55 to go until halftime in Detroit’s 38-24 victory.
The individual effort earned Lawson a spot on ESPN’s Fantastic Finishes segment wrapping up the day’s top moments.
“I just went for the ball and it hit the ground and I bounced on it. And I was like, ‘oh shoot, nobody touched me,’ so I got up,” Lawson told ESPN. “(No.) 29, he hit me, and I was like, ‘oh, I’m still up,’ so I just ran to the end zone.”