The path for Garrett Williams is now at the next step.
The Cardinals cornerback, the team's first third-round pick in May and coming off an ACL tear, will return to practice this week as the team opened his three-week window. Williams is currently on the Non-Football Injury list.
"It felt comfortable out there doing what I do," Williams said. "It felt good. No pressure, no stress."
"I wasn't going to let myself not get (to this point)," he added.
Offensive lineman Dennis Daley, who has been on IR with an ankle injury, also had his practice window opened.
"(Dennis) was playing good football for us," coach Jonathan Gannon said. "We have a role for him that we were going to use on gameday. But for all these guys, we have to see where he is. A big guy coming back from an ankle. We will see where it goes this week."
Both players now must be placed on the 53-man roster within those three weeks or they must remain on their lists for the remainder of the season.
Williams said he's getting work at both safety and the nickel corner spot. The two starting corner spots are manned by Marco Wilson and fellow rookie Kei'Trel Clark.
He said he felt confident after the mental reps he had taken during his absence, and the physical part "will kind of come along over time" -- even though he is just starting his first week on an NFL practice field.
"At the end of the day, football is football," Williams said. "Obviously it's the NFL so guys are better skilled, faster, bigger, but I feel kind of like when you go from high school to college -- you just kind of adjust to it. That comes with time. I'm not really worried about that. I'm just excited to have the opportunity to be in the NFL and showcase what I have been doing for years."
The Cardinals released cornerback Christian Matthew earlier this week, potentially creating both a roster spot and a spot in the room for Williams to the roster as soon as this weekend. Williams was hurt playing for Syracuse Oct. 29, 2022, and he had his surgery about a month later.
"You're a rookie playing for the first time in the NFL and haven't lined up once," Gannon said. "Haven't played in a practice for us once. So he's in a little bit of a different spot as far as experience and things he needs to get done -- technique, fundamentals, schematics. We will have our eye on him."
Quarterback Kyler Murray was also eligible to have his practice window opened this week but remains on the PUP list unable to work with the team.
"I don't think there is any disappointment," Gannon said. "We knew his timeline, where he is at, and that's kind of a day-by-day thing with all the guys coming off an injury. He actually has been very upbeat the whole time but this last couple of weeks I have seen a little bit of a different bounce in his step."