Williams, who had been held out of practice every Wednesday since Week 6, played through a condition in his right foot that is pretty similar to the ailment that cut short his 2011 season and landed him on injured reserve.
“Last year that fluid had gotten into the bone in my foot and my whole Achilles was super inflamed,” Williams told Buffalobills.com. “So they were scared because the Achilles was hanging on by a thread. They thought it was going to rupture. This one is the same deal, but it’s not that bad.”
His left Achilles never ruptured last year allowing surgeons to detach the Achilles, repair it and re-attach it. Williams had only a six-month rehab instead of a full calendar year had it ruptured.
Part of what was damaging his Achilles last year was a bone spur that was rubbing against it. This year it was his right Achilles that was under stress.
“There is a bone spur rubbing on it,” Williams said. “That’s the same thing, but it didn’t tear through most of it. It has some micro-tearing type stuff, but the fluid isn’t in the bone of my foot. It didn’t tear a lot of my Achilles where they were scared I was going to rupture it. So we just tried to manage it and get through the season. We took an MRI and it looks exactly like the other one. It’s just something that’s just developed over time.”
To get Williams through games this season, the equipment staff cut out the entire heel of his high-top cleats to reduce friction and simply wrapped the back of the cleat in tape so his foot wouldn’t slide right out the shoe.
The injury was at its worst following the blowout loss to San Francisco. Williams didn’t practice almost the entire week in Arizona leading up to the Week 6 game against the Cardinals, but he did play.
“I was pretty discouraged when we were in Arizona, going through what I went through last year, and how it was playing out, four or five games into the year. I was pretty discouraged,” he said. “I definitely feel lucky and blessed to be able to make it through the year.”
Surgery is not a definite, but Williams certainly seems to be leaning in that direction.
“To be honest with you I’m ready to have it fixed,” he said. “I’ve been through it too many times for too long, so it’ll be nice to have it fixed.”
Williams said a final decision on whether to have surgery will be made at the end of January or early February. The defensive tackle explained why they can afford to wait.
“It shouldn’t be as extensive a problem as the one last year was,” he said.