Last week brought a saddening story involving now-retired former NFL receiver Mike Williams, who spent his college days at Syracuse before becoming the 101st pick of the 2010 NFL Draft. Since his playing career wrapped up after a stint with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016, Williams began working construction back in the Tampa Bay area, where he played for the Buccaneers from 2010 to 2013.
But it was during his construction work when Williams was severely injured in a worksite accident leading to a steel beam falling on his head on Aug. 21. This incident left Williams, 36, paralyzed from the waist down, in addition to not having any feeling in his right arm.
The initial diagnosis led to surgery for Williams, but his condition quickly deteriorated to the point where he was placed in a medically induced coma. But Williams kept fighting, and on Sept. 7, he was taken off life support and is now responsive with his condition improving.
Williams played a total of five NFL seasons, spending four with the Buccaneers and his final year with the Buffalo Bills. He’d start 52 of the 63 games he appeared in, including a fantastic rookie season that saw him record 964 receiving yards plus 11 touchdown catches.
- Mike Williams’ stats in NFL career: 223 receptions, 3,089 receiving yards, 26 TD
Williams topped his yardage total in 2012, setting a new career-high with 996 yards while still hauling in nine touchdown catches. But just over a year after signing a six-year, $40 million contract, Tampa Bay traded Williams to Buffalo, his hometown team. He had trouble finding success catching passes from EJ Manuel and Kyle Orton and played just nine more games in his career.