Season-Ending Back Surgery Looms For Wide Receiver Mike Williams
It’s bad news out of Los Angeles as prized seventh overall pick, wide receiver Mike Williams, may not even see the field for the entire 2017 season. The rookie potentially needs back surgery, as he’s battling a herniated disc.
Last season, the then-San Diego Chargers went 5-11 and finished in fourth place in the NFC West. It’s notable that the team did fairly well passing the ball, finishing eighth in the entire league with 262 yards per game of passing offense. However, longtime quarterback Phillip Rivers could always use some additional help, which is why Williams was drafted in the first place.
In 15 games last season for the Clemson Tigers, Mike Williams had 98 receptions for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns. As an intricate part of the team’s NCAA Championship win over Alabama with eight catches, 94 yards, and a touchdown, it’s clear that this talent is able to shine during the biggest of moments.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, another realistic option to salvage the season would be an epidural, a second one for the young talent.
It is unclear when exactly the injury was suffered, whether it be at Chargers’ Mini-Camp or at the NFL Combine. Regardless, the damage has been done, and Los Angeles will have to suffer.
Williams uses his giant frame to leap over defensive backs and make spectacular catches. Obviously, that will be challenging with any type of back pain, let alone a herniated disc. The question now becomes on if the Chargers would rather risk further injury by allowing Williams to play hurt, or to sacrifice this season and have the national champion recover for next year.
The Chargers fired their coach Mike McCoy after two disappointing seasons in a row including a 4-12 2015 campaign. The team turned the reigns to Anthony Lynn to lead the club back to the playoffs. Lynn served as the assistant head coach for the Buffalo Bills last season and has served as the running backs coach for many teams such as the Jets, Browns, Cowboys, and Jaguars.
Coach Lynn, even before the beginning of his first season, is going to have to get creative with moving the football down the field without a No. 1 receiver.
It’s certainly a tough break for Williams, and the hope is that a speedy recovery is in store.
[Featured Image by Chris Carlson/AP Images]