Whether to play Ryan Williams in opener

Two thoughts came to mind with news that Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt hoped running back Ryan Williams might play a couple snaps in the exhibition opener Sunday.

  • Thought one: Great news. Williams must be recovered from surgery to repair the torn patella tendon he suffered Aug. 19 last year. Consider this another welcome development in Williams' return from a brutal injury. Looks like we can bank on Williams being ready for Week 1 of the regular season, arming the Cardinals' offense with a potentially dynamic weapon. A couple reps Sunday sounds reasonable.

  • Thought two: Whisenhunt could be suffering from oxygen deprivation after a week at training camp in the 7,000-foot altitude of Flagstaff. No coach with a 4-2 postseason record and Super Bowl appearance on his resume would risk such a key player to injury, even briefly, on an unfamiliar playing surface 35 days before the regular-season opener. There's still time to reconsider.

Both thoughts have some merit, minus the joke about oxygen deprivation. Williams does appear to be on course. He does appear ready, or close to it, for game action. That's great news for the Cardinals. But there should be no rush.