Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams hurt his ankle in Thursday’s preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He blames the tactics of Vince Williams for the injury.
Rob Demovsky of ESPN cited Green Bay’s Williams, who said that the Pittsburgh linebacker grabbed and twisted at his ankle at the end of a play. If that happens in the future, the running back knows what he’ll do.
“If they’re twisting ankles, I’m for sure kicking,” Williams said, per Demovsky. “I’m kicking from now on. If the ref asks why I’m kicking, I’ll be like, ‘Hey, he’s twisting ankles.’ I’m just going to do what I’ve got to do to survive honestly. I’m not trying to get hurt and not be able to play anymore because somebody wants to be aggressive and do dirty things like that. So why I can I not protect myself from those type of injuries?”
Well, that will certainly get noticed.
Assuming Williams’ assessment is correct (and we have no reason to believe it’s not), it’s easy to see where he’s coming from. Running backs have very short shelf lives. Ankle injuries, even relatively minor ones, can have a great impact on their career spans, or at least their effectiveness. The position is dangerous enough if everyone is playing clean. If they’re not, we can certainly understand a running back being defensive.
Per Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, he said that the injury was “nothing serious.” And while he wasn’t in pads for Monday’s practice, he was taking handoffs from the team’s training staff.
Probably not a good sign for Friday’s game at Oakland, but a good sign overall: #Packers RB Jamaal Williams (ankle) isn’t in pads but he’s taking handoffs from athletic trainer Nate Weir and seems to be moving quite fluidly (in my non-medical professional opinion). 👨🏻⚕️
— Jason Wilde (@jasonjwilde) August 20, 2018
So, he did seem to avoid the worst with this injury.
As a rookie, Williams rushed for 556 yards and four touchdowns in 2017. He added 25 receptions for 262 yards with two more scores. With Aaron Jones suspended to start the year, Williams figures to be an important part of Green Bay’s attack in the early part of the season.