WR Karl Williams is anxious to jump back into action after missing the last two games
When WR Karl Williams hit the FedEx Field turf on a punt return on October 1st, it looked bad. Twisted in several directions as he was swarmed over while trying to reverse field, Williams suffered a knee injury, spraining the medial collateral injury in his left knee. While it wasn't bad enough to land him on injured reserve, it was supposed to keep him out for four to six weeks.
Three weeks later, on Monday, October 23, Williams was back on the practice field. As usual, the Bucs held only a light 30-minute workout late Monday afternoon, but Williams used the practice as a test for his recovering knee. Preliminary reports are that the knee passed.
"I felt okay," said Williams in the Bucs' locker room just minutes after the practice ended. "It tweaked every now and then, and I'm pretty sure I'll be sore tomorrow, but I think I'll be alright."
Williams had to stop on a few occasions to catch his breath, as he was still huffing and puffing from practice. "I'm pretty winded," he admitted. "You get back out there and you're surprised at how quickly you fall out of shape. A few days without playing and you lose your physical conditioning."
That 'football shape' probably won't take long for Williams to recover, if his healing prowess is any indication. The team is expecting their fifth-year wideout – and most accomplished punt returner – to play this coming Sunday against Minnesota. That would mean that 'The Truth' missed just three weeks and two games, roughly half of the original diagnosis.
"Ever since I started playing football, I've been a fast healer," said Williams. "I don't really know why. I've been working at it every day, getting treatment two or three times a day. I think the two weeks of just straight rest helped. The ligaments had a chance to tighten up."
Monday's work was a positive step forward for Williams, but not the final determinant. He began by testing out the strength and soreness of his left knee by joining in the running portion of the practice while wearing a knee brace, strictly for 'precautionary reasons', he said.
"Well, Monday's usually a pretty light day, so I went out there and ran straight ahead some," said Williams. "I haven't really tried to do any sharp cuts yet."
That will come Wednesday and Thursday, and if all goes well during those practices, he could be cleared to play on Sunday. "That's the plan," said Williams, and he's eager to see the plan through.
"I'm anxious to get back out there and contribute," he said. "I was getting a little tired of standing around watching."