Just when it seemed as if Cardinals defensive tackle Dan Williams was starting to emerge, he was lost for the season.
A first round pick out of Tennessee in 2010, Williams broke his left arm in a November loss to the 49ers.
Williams is back on the field for OTAs now, and says he's feeling no ill effects from the injury.
"No bad pain, no nothing," he said. "Really just trying to get used to using it again and just getting back to doing what I used to do with it."
Much is expected of Williams this season, as he will be asked to anchor the middle of the defensive line. His contributions won't often show up in the box score, but his impact could be felt by everyone else on the defensive side of the ball.
The good news, besides Williams' recovery, is the fact that he's in shape now, after having issues with his weight early in his career. Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said Williams ran well Tuesday, which bodes well for him going forward.
"I am pleased with where Dan is right now and he's got to stay focused and keep it that way starting into training camp," Whisenhunt said.
That's for a few months down the road, so in the meantime Williams plans on using OTAs as a chance to not only work his way back into shape, but learn a defense that was new to the team last season.
"You get more in depth on the defense," he said. "Instead of just knowing what I'm supposed to do this year, I know what [Darnell Dockett], [Calais Campbell], also I know what [Daryl Washington] and [Paris Lenon] are doing behind me.
"It gives me a chance to study a little bit more and get a little bit more familiar with the defense."
That should only help a player who the team will lean heavily on this season.
Arizona Sports' Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed to this report