P.J. Williams and Hau'oli Kikaha have spent the past couple of weeks waiting for a chance to reestablish themselves as part of the defensive picture for the New Orleans Saints.
For Williams, the wait was four weeks, dating back to the Saints benching him for a disciplinary matter before the London game against Miami. Kikaha had to wait two weeks, left inactive against Green Bay and Chicago due to coach's decision.
Kikaha and Williams finally got their chance during Sunday's 30-10 win over the Buccaneers and tried to make the most of it. Kikaha racked up three tackles, a quarterback hit, a tackle-for-loss and a sack in just nine snaps, and Williams made two tackles and broke up a pass in 23 snaps as a slot cornerback.
"It felt good," Kikaha said. "I'm glad to be able to play, to be allowed."
Both players benefited from facing a Tampa Bay attack that is heavy on the pass.
Kikaha now has three sacks and three quarterback hits in 91 snaps, but the Saints appear to favor starter Alex Okafor and rookie Trey Hendrickson against teams that run the ball.
Williams, who started the first two games, had fallen off the radar to the point that he'd only played six special-teams snaps in the past two games, but he stayed ready, and his chance finally came against the Buccaneers.
He also got extra snaps in relief of safety Kenny Vaccaro, who has handled the slot cornerback role. Vaccaro was taken out of the game at halftime due to a groin injury.
"I just, every day, prepared like I was supposed to be out there, so I was ready," Williams said. "Stepped in, didn't lose a step."