Devonte Williams to start for Redblacks with William Powell out due to injury

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The Ottawa Redblacks will start newcomer Devonte Williams at running back on Friday against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, according to Tim Baines of the Ottawa Sun.

William Powell signed with the team following a two-year stint with the Saskatchewan Roughriders but will not play due to an Achilles injury. The veteran ball carrier was a limited participant in practice on Monday and Tuesday.

Williams was on the practice roster with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for a portion of the 2021 season and signed with the Redblacks in April. He split his college football career between Indiana University and Southeastern Louisiana University.

The five-foot-nine, 170-pound ball carrier started 12 games as a senior at Southeastern Louisiana in 2019 and rushed 136 times for 599 yards and eight touchdowns while catching 68 passes for 571 yards and three majors. He also returned nine punts for 126 yards, taking one back 61 yards for a touchdown.

Powell had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Redblacks (2017-18) and was named an East Division all-star both years before departing for Saskatchewan via free agency. The 34-year-old rushed for 1,826 yards and 15 touchdowns over 31 regular season games with the Riders before returning to Ottawa as a free agent in February.

The Redblacks are scheduled to face the Blue Bombers at IG Field in Winnipeg on Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET.