Texans receiver accepts fact career is over
Last Edited: Thursday, 28 Aug 2008, 1:37 PM CDT
Created: Thursday, 28 Aug 2008, 1:34 PM CDT
HOUSTON -- Houston Texans receiver Harry Williams walked by himself this morning at his hospital in Dallas and was able to eat without help. Normal stuff for most folks but for Williams a major victory. It's the first time he has been able to walk and feed himself since suffering a career-ending injury Friday night in a pre-season game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Williams suffered a cracked vertebrae and severe ligament damage in his neck while trying to make a play for the Texans. After the injury Williams was paralyzed from the neck down only to regain feeling in his extremities a short time later. He underwent successful surgery Monday to repair the damaged vertebrae.
"I started walking today," Williams said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports from Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas." I brushed my own teeth today, sat up in a chair today, fed myself today.
"I'm doing good, man."
Friday night at Texas Stadium, Williams was not doing well after the injury.
"It was scary," Williams said. "I don't wish than on anybody. Not being able to move nothing but your eyelids and the only thing you can do is talk and breath.
"Man, it's scary. Real, real scary."
Williams will be able to lead a normal life but team doctors have already said it is highly unlikely he will be able to play football again. Williams said he has already accepted the fact he will never play the game again.
"It's been frustrating knowing that I can't play football anymore," Williams said. "You have to start working on your second dream.
"Everything is going to be okay. I thank the Lord that I can walk again and someday play with my kids. That's all that matters right now."
Naturally, Williams admits accepting everything he is saying is easier said than done.
"It's very hard," Williams said. "I can't sit here and say I'm over it yet. It's real hard because I'm 26 years old. I'm young, still frisky, and ready to go
"But like I said the Lord has something else planned for me and I am willing to accept that."
One thing no one can take from Williams is he would have made the Texans roster because of his superior play on special teams if he hadn't been injured.
Drafted in 2005 in the seventh round by the New York Jets, Williams was on the Jets and New York Giants practice squads in 2005 before signing with the Texans in 2006. Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said after the injury Williams had earned a spot on the roster.
"That meant a great deal," Williams said. "Kubiak called me in the off-season. He told me what he was thinking of me about making this team.
"I took it and I ran with it. Coach Kubiak has always been an up front guy with me, ever since I've been there. He always told me the truth. He had me believing every word he said. It's just a blessing that I even got to meet Coach Kubiak, (general manager) Rick Smith also, and (team owner) Bob McNair also."
Williams mother, Marshall Williams, who has been by Harry's side since the injury, will turn 52 on Monday. As far as she is concerned she has already received her birthday present.
"I can't explain it," Marshall Williams said. "Words can't explain it.
"My birthday is Monday, which is Labor Day, and I told him I will be down here a minute after 12. We are going to be shouting in here, thankful that he's able to walk and just here, just here mainly."
Williams said he will be in the hospital a few more days before he can return to Houston. He already has a short-term goal in mind.
"I got to see the Texans play this year," Williams said. "That's one of my main motivations right now is to see those boys play.
"Those boys are going to do good this year. I just hope the team has a great year and reaches all of its goals."
Harry Williams reached his primary goal Thursday when he walked for the first time since the injury. Soon he will be walking into Reliant Stadium to watch his Texans.
Sometime in the future he plans to go into coaching so he can be around the game he loves, football.