Cadillac expected to be cleared for training camp
Running back Cadillac Williams is expected to be among the 80 players cleared by the Bucs to begin training camp when the team reports Friday.
Williams suffered a torn patellar tendon in his left knee in the final regular-season game of 2008 against Oakland. But unlike the previous season, when it took Williams 13 months to heal from a similar injury to his right knee, the tendon did not rupture but rather tore from the bone.
That has accelerated Williams' recovery and team officials are confident he will start training camp on time.
Williams still has to clear a final hurdle by passing an entrance physical after reporting Friday at One Buc Place. The Bucs could buy Williams more time by placing him on the active Physically Unable to Perform list. That would enable Williams to attend meetings, but he wouldn't be able to practice. A player on the active PUP list counts against the 80-man roster but can be removed from the list at any time during the camp.
But Williams has made steady progress throughout the off-season and it's believed he will be in uniform for the first practice Saturday morning.
If he passes his physical, Williams will be in the mix at tailback with Earnest Graham, Derrick Ward and Clifton Smith.
A year ago, Williams was on the Reserve PUP list, which made him ineligible to play for the first six weeks of the season. But he did not count against the 53-man roster during that time.
Williams enjoyed his best performance in more than a year against the Raiders, rushing 12 times for 78 yards and two touchdowns while catching five passes for 37 yards. But his longest run of the day -- a 28-yarder in the fourth quarter -- also was his last. As Williams was tackled by Raiders cornerback Chris Johnson, his left leg bent underneath his body and he grabbed his knee with both hands.