The Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers were less than one full quarter into the first game of Week 4 when a scary scene occurred. Packers running back Jamaal Williams was nearly brought down by the Eagles defense when Derek Barnett came in late and hit him.
There was immediate concern over the running back’s health, as it appeared to be a helmet-to-helmet hit and Williams dropped to the ground almost immediately. NFL Update showed the video of the play.
As scary as the scene was, Sam Farnsworth of KSL-TV revealed that Williams gave a thumbs up after being placed on the stretcher and taken off the field.
Unfortunately, there’s still major concern over the Packers running back and his health, as the next news to come to light was initially troubling.
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Jamaal Williams Taken to Hospital After Hit
The call was made to have Williams transported directly to a local hospital following the hit. ESPN’s Adam Schefter revealed the news, which was first reported by Michele Steele.
As Williams was heading to the hospital, the Packers issued two injury updates which offered a somewhat positive outlook initially for the Packers running back. Per the team, Williams had movement in all four extremities following the hit.
“Packers RB Jamaal Williams is being evaluated for head & neck injuries.” the team tweeted initially.
They followed that up by revealing the good news which was mentioned just above.
“Williams has been ruled out for the game. He does have feeling & movement in all of his extremities.”
Here’s another look at the play at normal speed, which appears to show Barnett coming in late for the hit on Williams, per NFL analyst Abdul Memon.
Many NFL fans revealed frustration after the hit from Barnett, calling it dirty and unnecessary. Former NFL running back LeGarrette Blount took to social media to defend Barnett and explain that he’s not a dirty player.
Jamaal Williams’ Solid Start to Young Career
While fans anxiously await updates on the third-year running back, it’s hard not to be concerned for his health after watching the play. Williams, who was selected in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Packers, has played in 35 career games to this point and has been specifically impressive as a pass-catcher.
Over that stretch, the former BYU Cougars running back has tallied 59 receptions for 527 yards and three touchdowns. To start the 2019 season, he had caught 7-of-8 targets for 55 yards and one score while playing somewhat of a reserve role behind Aaron Jones.
As far as his work as a rusher goes, Williams has tallied 300 carries through those 35 games, totaling 1,107 yards (3.7 yards per carry) with seven touchdowns. He scored six combined touchdowns (four rushing and two receiving) during his rookie year. In that season, Williams also averaged a superb 10.5 yards per reception, racking up 262 yards as a receiver on 25 catches.