Falcons release RB Williams after injury-shortened season

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons have released running back Damien Williams, the veteran who was slowed by an early season rib injury. The release of Williams came one day after coach Arthur Smith announced rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder will start at New Orleans. Marcus Mariota has been benched. Williams was projected to be the top backup to Cordarrelle Patterson, but instead was placed on injured reserve on Sept. 17 with the rib injury suffered in Atlanta’s 27-26 season-opening loss to New Orleans.

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