The 2010 season was more or less a disaster for the Buffalo Bills, but there was one unquestioned shining light: the play of DT Kyle Williams. The former 5th-round draft pick really came into his own last season, becoming one not just one of the better defensive linemen in the league, but one of the league’s top overall players at any position. Thankfully, the Bills rewarded Williams with a huge contract extension, ensuring that he’d stay in Buffalo for a long time. Between that and Buffalo’s selection of Marcell Dareus, I was drooling at the prospect of how good this defensive line could be.
And then the 2011 season started, and something was wrong. The dominant Kyle Williams we had seen in 2010 – slicing into the backfield, blowing up the pocket, making big plays – was simply not there. Williams couldn’t seem to get off blocks and had none of the burst that had made him so effective the season before. Speculation began to circulate that Williams was playing hurt, and sure enough before long the Bills decided enough was enough and sent him to get checked out by a specialist for an apparent foot problem. It turned out to be pretty serious, and Williams was sent to injured reserve, ending his season.
That sucked, but today BuffaloBills.com has released some good news: Williams is on the road to recovery.
As it turns out, Williams was playing with an injury that sounds incredibly painful. Basically, a bone spur in his heel had grown to the point that it was actually rubbing against his Achilles’ tendon. As Williams says, “The doctor described it like a violin bow going across the strings. It was grinding and ripping and fraying it a little bit.”
So basically every time Williams moved, he was further damaging his Achilles. Ouch. He’s very lucky it didn’t rupture.
But fortunately, Williams had it checked out just in time, and had corrective surgery that apparently went very well: “[The surgeon] said it went great, no issues,” said Williams. “I ought to be good to go and feel as good as I felt in my career.”
So if you’re looking for a reason to hope in 2012, Bills fans, here’s one. A healthy Kyle Williams back in the lineup will provide a HUGE boost to this defense. This front seven is desperate for a playmaker, and Williams is certainly one. Let’s hope his optimism about his recovery is well-placed and we’ll see #95 tearing up offensive lines again next season.