Bills S Aaron Williams: Taking first hit will determine playing future

BY Cameron DaSilva • January 29, 2016

Neck injuries are almost never minor. The severity can vary, but they always warrant a great deal of attention and care -- specifically when tackling players is your job. 

Buffalo Bills safety Aaron Williams suffered a neck injury in Week 2 and was taken off the field in an ambulance. The entire stadium held its breath in what was an extremely scary scene. He was able to return for Week 5, but determined he couldn't play the rest of the season and was placed on short-term injured reserve.

Towards the end of the season, Williams returned to the practice field, and just this week, general manager Doug Whaley said he could have played in the postseason had the Bills made it. He's also been cleared to play, which is a plus. 

Even still, Williams' playing future remains murky, and it will depend on how he feels after taking that first hit.


"No doubt in my mind," Williams said of attempting to play next season. "There's never been a question. The thing was do I feel comfortable enough to come back? I told myself we'll figure it out after next year's training camp. After that first hit, if you feel like you can sustain those hits week in and week out, then continue to keep playing. But if it's one of those where I hit it and it's just like, 'Man, this doesn't look good,' then I'll have to reconsider."

Being a safety, Williams' job is to make tackles, so he'll find out fairly quickly how his neck feels. The fact that he was practicing towards the end of the year was a good sign, but hitting players is a different story.

The Bills could certainly use him next season as they have a hole at safety that was previously filled by impending free agent Bacarri Rambo. However, his health, of course, comes first.