Browns cornerback Greedy Williams injured his right shoulder during a tackling drill in training camp. He thought it was something minor. Little did he know that it would knock him out for the season.
In an in-depth interview with Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, Williams opened up on what happened last year.
“We were doing this tackling drill,’’ Williams said. “It’s supposed to be receivers running towards the sideline and we just wrap them up like formal tackling or whatever. It got out of hand and guys just started hitting like crazy with all of their force. I went and tried to hit a guy with all my force and he ducked his head into my shoulder and ran through my shoulder.’’
“I thought, ‘It’s just a stinger; I’ll be out at practice tomorrow. I ain’t trippin.’”
“After like three or four days, it was still kind of numb and sore, so we waited for like a week or two weeks and it was still the same way,’’ Williams said.
He underwent frequent electromyography tests whereby fine needles are inserted into the shoulder to get the muscle to fire.
It didn’t work.
“It was very stressful,’’ Williams said. “I’d always go in very hopeful and it just wasn’t responding.’’
The Browns ended up placing Williams on IR in October. By then, he knew he had severe damage to the axillary nerve in his shoulder, which impacts the deltoid muscle among others. Doctors told him it was a 6-to-12 month injury.
While all this was going down, Williams was getting trolled on social media and being told that he was faking an injury.
“That was kind of one of those things was messing with me too,’’ Williams said. “People don’t understand really what nerve damage is. It’s a serious matter for your health. Nerves are weird. They work on their own time, so you just never know.’’
“I thought about posting a picture of my shoulder before it happened so you can see that my body is retracting to support the muscle,’’ he said. “The nerves have the muscle turned off. It’s a lot going on.’’
He went as far as telling doctors he could play with only his left arm, but doctors told him no.
“They were like, ‘It’s nothing to joke about, like this your life,’’’ Williams said. “I was told if I damaged it again it’d be for life. Hearing things like that make you take more seriously what’s going on.’’
Ultimately, Williams missed the entire season. The Browns lost in the Divisional Round to Kansas City.
In early February, Williams felt his shoulder coming back to life.
“When I was first able to just to reach across my body, and hold it by myself, it was just like a big shock to me and I was happy,’’ he said. “I couldn’t wait to tell [the Browns medical staff] about the progression and how the shoulder was moving. It’s been it’s been a lot of excitement from there on out.’’
Williams underwent an EMG test on Wednesday and he got the news he wanted.
“#ReturnOfGreedy is official!’’ he tweeted today. “God is real!!”
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