Williams upbeat despite injury

"Don't count ‘Big Ro' out. This is the playoffs. I believe in God. I believe in being positive. I think every day is a great day. If you don't think so trying missing one." -- Raiders tight end Roland Williams

Don't tell Roland Williams that a serious knee injury is supposed to keep him out of action.

            Williams tore one ligament completely and another partially in his left knee Saturday. He had already been playing through torn ligaments in his big toe that will require surgery. Williams' MRI exam revealed a complete tear of the medial collateral ligament and a partial tear of the anterior cruciate ligament. He left the field with trainers' help after sustaining the injury on the Raiders' final drive.

            Oakland head coach Bill Callahan, however, is not ruling out Williams' availability despite sustaining an injury that sends virtually any other player to the sideline. For that matter, neither is Williams.

The Raiders, the AFC's top seed, are currently in a bye week and will play either Jan. 11 or 12.

Williams was wearing a protective brace and sporting crutches at the Raiders' facility in Alameda, Ca., Tuesday. Williams was his usual gregarious self despite the injury.

            "Don't count ‘Big Ro' out," Williams said. "This is the playoffs. I believe in God. I believe in being positive. I think every day is a great day. If you don't think so trying missing one."

            Williams, who played for the St. Louis Rams 1999 Super Bowl winning team, appears to be taking an enormous risk by playing with an injury that may take a few years off his career.

            "I can say that winning the Super Bowl is an experience I wish everyone could have at one time in their life," Williams said. "It's changed my life. Every year I play this game, I'm dedicated to getting back. Everything is threatened every time we go out and play football. For me to think about that is something I have to confront every time I go out and play. I love football and have never missed a game. I'm proud of that."

            Williams' injury leaves rookie Doug Jolley, who has shined in the second half of the season, and Marcus Williams as the Raiders lone tight ends at full strength.

            "The preliminary reports indicate he (Roland Williams) is sore and swollen somewhat," Callahan said. "To what degree, I'm not sure but if there's anyone that can go out and play and withstand the threshold of pain it's Roland Williams."

 

Vince D'Adamo can be reached at vad7@yahoo.com


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