Bucs lose WR Mike Williams for the season
As if an 0-7 start weren't bad enough heading into a game at Seattle, the Bucs announced Monday that receiver Mike Williams has been placed on injured reserve and will miss the remainder of the season due to a right hamstring injury.
"Mike had a hamstring injury that he tried to play through but it just wasn’t effective doing it,'' coach Greg Schiano said Monday. "He’ll get surgery now and be repaired and he’ll be fine. It’s just going to be a little bit of a recovery. So after getting all the information from the doctors, he was allowed to try. He did for two weeks but wasn’t really himself and couldn’t do the things he needs to do to be effective. So it’s time to get surgery.''
Williams, who signed a 6-year, $40.25-million contract just before training camp, injured his hamstring Sept. 29 in a 13-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Following the bye week, he missed the next game against the Philadelphia Eagles before returning vs. the Falcons and Panthers. In his last two games, Williams had seven catches for 52 yards. He finishes the season with 22 receptions for 216 yards and two touchdowns.
A fourth round pick from Syracuse in 2010, Williams has started 52-of-54 career games, recording 215 catches for 2,947 yards and 25 touchdowns, which ranks fifth in team history.
Without Williams, the Bucs will rely on receiver Vincent Jackson, Tiquan Underwood, Chris Owusu, Eric Page and Russell Shepard. The latter three receivers in that mix have a combined 11 career receptions and no touchdowns.
“Well, Mike has been banged up for the better part of the year, so I don’t think it’s going to be that much of a change,'' Schiano said. "Now relative to what it could’ve been, sure. Mike is a very fine player. But that’s part of life in the NFL. We need the next man to get the opportunity and we’ll go with that.''