Las Vegas Raiders’ Tyrell Williams is pain free in 2020 after a painful 2019 season.
The wide receiver and former Cascade High School (Turner, OR) star started fast in 2019, catching a touchdown pass in each of his first five games. Then he suffered a foot injury – diagnosed as plantar fasciitis – and was never the same for the remainder of the season.
The pain in his feet lingered throughout the season, but Williams still caught 42 passes for 651 yards and a team-leading six touchdown receptions. Treatment can help, but plantar fasciitis can persist for an extended period of time and rest is usually the best remedy. Williams’ rest during the offseason has eliminated the pain and he enters training camp 100 percent healthy.
“It took a while, took a pretty long time into the offseason to finally start feeling better. With the virus, I was able to take more time off, which was helpful. I don’t know what it was that finally got me over the hump,” Williams told reporters Wednesday. “I feel good coming into this season, compared to how I was feeling last year with my feet and everything.”
The Raiders signed Williams to a four-year, $44 million contract in March 2019 with the expectations he would complement Antonio Brown. The Brown experiment blew up in the Raiders’ face and he was released just before Week 1 of the regular season, thrusting Williams into the WR1 role. Injuries and inconsistency left the Raiders shuttling their wide receivers in and out of the lineup.
The Raiders beefed up their talent at the position during the offseason. The Raiders used their first-round pick (No. 12) to select speedster Henry Ruggs and a third-round pick (No. 81) to select Bryan Edwards in the 2020 NFL draft. They also signed veteran free agent Nelson Agholor.
Williams now has a year of experience in coach Jon Gruden’s system and a season of working with quarterback Derek Carr to develop chemistry. If Williams can remain healthy, he’s poised to produce a strong season.
“I’ve tried a million different things and now I’m trying to add whatever feels good,” Williams told reporters Wednesday. “I feel a lot better, feel 100 percent. I’m excited and feel fast, I feel back to myself.”
— Geoffrey C. Arnold 5/8 @geoffreyCarnold
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