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Williams practices, status still unknown

WilliamsFresh off serving a 18-month suspension for violation of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams participated at practice Wednesday. From all eyewitness accounts, it appears that Williams hasn’t lost very much physically. According to offensive tackle L.J. Shelton, as told to Edgar Thompson of the Palm Beach Post, “He didn’t look very rusty, did he? Not to me. To come back from a layoff like that and look like he belonged is a credit to him.”A couple things that seem to work in Williams’ favor: The fact that current starting RB Jesse Chatman is limping around with a sprained left ankle, suffered during the Dolphins’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last weekend. Also consider that with only a few days of practice, Williams could possibly have a more immedate role than anticipated when the Dolphins welcomed him back last Thursday.

One thing for certain is that whether Williams actually plays on Monday against the Pittsburgh Steelers hinges on his conditioning and ability to pick up the playbook. So one could expect a decision on Williams’ playing status by no later than Sunday, as a gametime decision wouldn’t make sense; Williams hasn’t been injured. On the contrary, he is probably the freshest Dolphin in uniform this week. Based on that, the next few days should be interesting and bear watching.

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