Williams played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and his hometown Buffalo Bills
Correction: A previous version of this story, based on reports from Williams' father, stated that he had died. Multiple reports have since indicated that he is alive and on life support. This story has been updated.
Retired NFL wide receiver Mike Williams is on life support after suffering what his family described as “massive” head injury at a construction site last week.
Williams’ father Wendell Muhammad provided details about the accident in a GoFundMe post earlier this week, saying Williams, who played for his hometown Buffalo Bills and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, “recently had a major accident at work” in the Tampa Bay, Fla., area when “a steel beam fell on his head causing a massive head injury.”
The former NFL receiver was rushed to a nearby hospital in Tampa.
“As a result of this accident, there was swelling on his brain and swelling on his spinal cord that was ruptured,” his father said. “These injuries resulted in complete paralysis in his right arm as well as his lower body from the waist down.”
Williams is now on life support in the ICU at St. Joesph's Hospital, Tierney Lyle, the mother of his 8-year-old daughter, told the Tampa Bay Times.
Lyle told the outlet and she and their daughter Mya had just left the hospital where he was largely unresponsive.
“He was asleep when we went in there and he woke up when he heard our voices and his daughter’s voice,” Lyle said. “And he looked around, and he blinked and he was crying but he can’t move.”
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Along with Muhammad's GoFundMe post, Spectrum News 1 in Buffalo had reported Williams died on Tuesday night. On Wednesday evening, along with the Tampa Bay Times report, Buffalo station WKBW said that an agent for Williams confirmed that the former NFL player had not died.
Williams was born in Buffalo, New York and found success as a high school football player at Riverside Institute of Technology. He went on to play at nearby Syracuse before he was drafted to the NFL in 2010 by the Buccaneers.
The wide receiver played five full seasons in the NFL before retiring in 2016 with the Kansas City Chiefs. He racked up 26 touchdowns and 3,089 receiving yards throughout his career.
“Dang man hurts my heart seeing the news of my former teammate and Buccaneers 2010 draft class brother Mike Williams,” his former Tampa Bay teammate Gerald McCoy tweeted late Tuesday night. “Always great energy brought joy and laughter to the locker room and a heck of a player!! Prayers and blessings to his family!!”
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