The San Francisco 49ers are waiving second-year running back Joe Williams, according to NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero. The news comes after Williams missed the last two preseason games with a rib injury suffered against the Houston Texans. Pelissero said he is healthy at this point, but head coach Kyle Shanahan might have more to say about that on Saturday when he meets with the media after roster cuts.
Williams qualifies as the first draft bust of the John Lynch/Kyle Shanahan era. The 49ers invested a fourth round pick in Williams after Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner went to the mattresses for him during the draft. Lynch was initially skeptical but came around and the 49ers gave Williams a shot. He suffered an ankle injury and spent his rookie season on injured reserve. He did not overly impress in his two preseason games this year, and the team has decided to cut its losses.
Williams was competing with Alfred Morris, Raheem Mostert, Jeremy McNichols, and Jeff Wilson for an opportunity behind Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida. Morris was added during the second week of the preseason, and impressed in his appearance against the Indianapolis Colts. Morris would seem to have the best shot at time behind McKinnon and Breida.