If you are still hoping that the Chargers can turn things around, then this is the tweet that you’ve been waiting for!
Sorry for the wait— Mike Williams (@darealmike_dub) October 10, 2017
Sure, it’s a bit cryptic, but Mike Williams, the #7 overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft, feels that he is ready for action (via Jack Wang in the OC Register):
“I’m expecting to play,” Williams said. “I’m gonna practice hard, go through all the plays. Whatever decision the coaches make, I’m going to be ready for it.”
His entrance does not necessarily come at a surprise—when he complained about back issues after the first day of training camp, most realized that trouble was coming. The Chargers ruled him out 8 weeks later due to a mild disc herniation during Training Camp. Back issues are no joke, and the Chargers did do the right thing by limiting his snaps immediately and eventually pulling Williams from practice entirely.
On the positive end, Mike Williams did return to practice in mid-September. It is reasonable to assume that he has a decent portion of the playbook understood and that he has been chomping at the bit to prove he’s not a draft bust.
The Chargers made the unusual move of keeping Williams on their active 53-man roster, and it appears that they expected his time off to be a short one. If Williams is indeed cleared for this Sunday, they could’ve essentially placed him on the PUP list and saved a roster spot. However, he is here now and the Chargers are finally moving in a positive direction. Melvin Gordon is the AFC Offensive Player of the Week, the Chargers no longer have to fear getting blanked in the win column, and the rival Raiders have a questionable quarterback situation coming into this week. With actual threats to contend with on the Chargers offense, another talented addition could really open up some options and challenge defenses.
Coach Anthony Lynn has said that he will limit Williams’ snap counts, regardless of the week he begins. This is a wise move, as the potential benefits are outweighed by the possible catastrophe of further injuring their first round draft pick.
The language from the team and the player indicate that Williams will indeed play his first snaps this week, and that is a very good turn of events. We shouldn’t anticipate too many reps, but hopefully, the ones that we are treated to will end in points on the board.
-Jay “Miked Up” Michaels