Damien Williams to start at RB for Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams (26) celebrates a touchdown during the second half of the AFC Championship NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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(WIBW) -- The Kansas City Chiefs' regular season doesn't begin until Sept. 8, but the team has already named its starting running back.

According to second-year offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Damien Williams will start in the backfield for Kansas City.

"Damien Williams is our starter," Bieniemy said. "We expect him to excel at that role, and just like with any other position, if something was to happen--knock on wood, you don't want anything to happen--you want the next man to step up."

Bieniemy made the announcement at the conclusion of the team's mandatory minicamp.

Williams signed a 2-year contract extension worth up to $8.1 million in December, just weeks after he went from third-string to starter due to Spencer Ware's earlier injury and Kareem Hunt's release. After his promotion, he scored 10 total touchdowns last season, including four scores in the playoffs.

After the Chiefs signed veteran running back Carlos Hyde, there were rumors that Hyde would start instead or that a "back-by-committee" approach would be taken because of Kansas City's depth at the position.

Currently, the team has six backs listed on its roster: Williams, Hyde, second-year pro Darrel Williams and rookies James Williams, Darwin Thompson and Marcus Marshall.

Before coming to Kansas City, Damien Williams spent four seasons with the Miami Dolphins.