Ryan Williams rehab journey nearly complete

Arizona Sports News online

Arizona Cardinals second-year running back Ryan Williams can see the finish line.

His body can feel it, too which brings a smile to the face of the Cards coaching staff.

Ten months ago, Williams’ rookie season was essentially over before it started when he ruptured a patella tendon in his right knee against the Packers in the pre-season. It was a crushing blow to Williams and the organization who had hopes for the for the former Virginia Tech star.

“I really can’t remember how how I got tackled because it happened so fast,” Williams explained to Brad Cesmat Thursday on ‘Big Guy on Sports.’ “I got tackled in a weird, funny way. A guy landed on my knee. My whole patella snapped. I was laying on the ground because I really didn’t have any feeling from my knee on down and I really didn’t know what was going on. My kneecap was swimming in my thigh somewhere.”

The rehab process has been long, but it’s made Williams keep things in perspective and work hard to be the player he was before the injury.

“The first couple months [of rehab], I called those my Groundhog Days,” Williams said to Cesmat. “I really couldn’t do anything. I was in a brace. Things started getting better, but it didn’t seem like [the rehab] was moving fast enough. When I started running, I worked ten times harder to make sure my leg was strong.”

Those seemingly endless 6:00AM workouts at the facilities over the last several months are now paying off as was evident Wednesday night at Cardinals Fan Fest when Williams dazzled the crowd at University of Phoenix Stadium with a number of sharp cuts during the Red Birds open practice.

“I was really excited to get [on the field] and do what I did,” Williams told Cesmat. “Knowing where I came from and not being able to do anything like that since August, it was a confidence booster. Knowing that I have two and a half months before the season starts just makes me feel a lot better about getting right for the season.”

The Cards wrapped up their off-season work Thursday with their final mini-camp practice in Tempe.

The team will report to Flagstaff for training camp on July 24 in preparation for their pre-season opener against the New Orleans Saints August 5th in Canton, Ohio.



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