You’d think an NFL player wouldn’t be happy when told to sit out of practice, ride a stationary bike and only do core work on the side. But in running back Ryan Williams’ case, he’s elated.
Williams has been sitting out of practice since Sunday, when he left with irritation in his right knee — the same knee he had scoped in December and the same knee in which he suffered a ruptured patella tendon during a preseason game in Green Bay his rookie year.
Williams told the media on Friday that his latest injury is related to the other ones, but that nothing is wrong with his knee structurally and the MRI was clean.
“With the injury, this can happen, but it has nothing to do with the tendon or the repair. It’s the fatty pad under that tendon,” Williams said. “This is just something that occurs and there’s nothing you can really do to stop it when it happens. You just gotta treat it.”
Originally, the team and Williams announced that he would seek a second opinion on the knee, but he later changed his mind.
“Talking to the training staff and the doctors, they’ve been great with me these past two years and everything I’d been through, so I just kind of put that to the side,” said the third-year running back. “It was a decision, but talking to those guys, I just took it and I was just like, ‘I believe in the things that are being said to me and the things that are being told to me,’ so I didn’t really need to go.”
This is an important year for Williams under new head coach Bruce Arians. He needs to stay healthy to prove he’s worth keeping on the roster. During his first two seasons, he has dealt with knee injuries and a shoulder injury that have limited him to five regular season games and only 58 carries.
“Very frustrating because I work my tail off for this not to happen, but I really can’t control the type of things that do happen with this type of injury. Our punter Dave (Zastudil) has been through this; our safety Yeremiah (Bell) has been through this; Carson (Palmer) has been through this. This type of injury causes things like this,” Williams said.
Williams stated that the only activities he’s allowed to do are ride a bike and work on his core. He said he feels he’s sharp on the mental side and that he feels great about the playbook. But, due to physical limitations, it may take a while for him to resume football activities.
His rehab consists of rest, ice and stimi-heat. The Virginia Tech product thinks that time may be the most important element.
“We’re taking our time and the staff, the training staff and the coaching staff are behind me, and everybody understands what I’m going through, so that’s the good thing,” he said.
Williams also reiterated several times during his conversation with the media that “everything happens for a reason,” a mantra athletes that have encountered multiple injuries seem to live by. He said he tries to maintain a positive attitude.
“The good side of things is that nothing is wrong with my knee,” he said. “So for everybody out there that thinks I’m hurt…I’m not hurt. It’s just something that, in due time, it will heal what’s going on.”