The last time Ricky Williams was the starting running back for an NFL game, he scored a touchdown and the Miami Dolphins beat the New England Patriots in Foxboro. That was January 1, 2006, but Ricky's been reinstated and it looks like he's inline to be the starting back for the Dolphins' Monday Night game against the Steelers. That's right, a situation in which Williams would see action somewhat sparingly has morphed, due to injuries to the other starters(Ronnie Brown and Jesse Chatman), into Ricky probably starting tonight.
Some recent reports have stated that Chatman's ankle may have improved to the point to where he could start, but he was limited in practice all week and Williams handled most of the first-team work. So, for the sake of argument let's say that Ricky does start. What has happened between his last game and tonight?
In February 2006, the NFL announced that Williams had failed a fourth drug test. He was subsequently suspended for the entire 2006 NFL season.
Following his NFL suspension, Williams signed a contract with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. He rushed for 526 yards and 2 touchdowns in 11 games, but missed time due to a broken arm and an achilles tendon injury.
Since his last NFL game, in which he helped Miami beat the Patriots, the Dolphins have amassed a 6-20 record and the Patriots have gone 23-4. If there ever was a time for Ricky to make a triumphant return, this is it. Miami is on the verge of going winless for the entire 2007 season, and they need all of the help they can get.
Even if Ricky starts tonight, I'm not expecting him to run wild over the Steelers' defense, but it might provide the spark needed to get the team turned around in the right direction.
Besides, it's not like he could make them any worse.