This refrain is getting familiar. Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams told 105.7 The Fan that he played all of last season with an injured shoulder.
He said the same thing following the 2011 season, which is when he suffered the original injury. Williams suffered nerve damage early in that season and played the rest of it with a harness, while turning in probably his worst campaign as a pro. Although he was noticeably better in coverage in 2012, Williams was a total liability against the run.
There was more than one occasion where Williams performed his best bullfighter (or Deion Sanders) routine as an opposing running back approached. Still, he insisted on playing despite his claim that the shoulder injury never fully healed, which is a very convenient excuse.
“I had some tears in my shoulder and I had nerve damage in my shoulder, and it was tough,” Williams said, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “I only missed one game because of it, but it should have been one of those things to where I should have sat down for quite a few games. But at the same time, I haven’t been hurt at any point in my career. So you always want to be that guy who shows up and sends a message to your teammates like, ‘OK, this guy, he’s hurt but he’s out here for his teammates.’ And that’s what I wanted to show. I wanted to show that I could play through that and I did. I got through it. Everyone goes through adversity at some point in their career — that was one of my points, and I got through it.”
It amazes us that the Packers, who seemed overly-cautious with injuries in 2012, wouldn’t just force Tramon to sit out a game or two. Then again, maybe that wouldn’t have done the trick.
If there’s any good news here, Williams says he’ll maybe be back to full strength this year.
“Like I said, I had nerve damage, so that’s one thing that takes time. It could be a year, it could be two years to come back. And it’s made progress, but it’s still coming. So it’s one of those deals to where my shoulder’s still getting better at this point. I’m still working on it and hopefully it comes all the way back this year.”
We’ll commend Williams for playing through the injury. So many other guys would rather stand around on the sidelines these days. *Cough, Greg Jennings, cough, cough.*
That being said, at some point it’s probably better for the team if you pull yourself out, especially if you’re going to run the other direction when Adrian Peterson enters your field of view.
Williams better hope he’s back to 100 percent this season. The Packers have said there will be an open competition for the starting cornerback spots and Sam Shields and Casey Hayward appear poised to snag them.