Lions Lose Key Veteran Defensive Lineman to Injury vs. Bengals

Nick Williams

Getty Nick Williams on the field during Detroit's game against Green Bay in 2021.

The Detroit Lions have struggled in a big way this season with injuries, and yet another player has gone done with an ailment that could cost them time in a game.

Defensive lineman Nick Williams managed to go down on a Joe Burrow scramble with an ankle ailment. While he was able to walk off the field, he was quickly sat down on the medical table on the sidelines and was quickly ruled questionable by the team.

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Here’s a look at the announcement from Lions PR that Williams would be questionable to come back:

After Williams left, the Lions tossed rookie Levi Onwuzurike on the field, so without him for any long stretch, Detroit is likely to lean heavier on Onwuzurike in the trenches. The rookie has been coming along and has said he feels better about where he’s at in recent weeks.

Regardless, the Lions will have to hope that Williams can rally for a return, or at the very least, not be out long-term like many others on their roster.

Lions Dealing With Endless Stream of Injuries During 2021

If the injury is long-term for the Lions, nobody would count that as a surprise. The team has been snakebitten by injuries so far this season, losing names like cornerback Jeff Okudah, linebacker Romeo Okwara and center Frank Ragnow to season-ending ailments. Wideout Quintez Cephus is likely out for the year as well with a collarbone injury. Wideout Tyrell Williams is struggling to return off a concussion. The Lions are also missing offensive tackle Taylor Decker up front. Detroit’s struggled keeping anyone healthy for stretches this season.

Given the struggles of the team on defense in the trenches, the Lions will have to find a way to account for the potential loss of Williams if the injury is revealed to be long-term.

Williams’ Career Stats and Highlights

Williams, a seven-year veteran, has bounced around the NFL throughout his career. He originally entered the league as a seventh-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013, and by 2014, had joined the Kansas City Chiefs. After spending two-plus seasons there, Williams departed for the Miami Dolphins and spent a season there before signing with the Chicago Bears in 2018.

After putting up minuscule counting stats at every prior stop, Williams came into his own with the Bears in 2019, setting career-highs in nearly every category, including combined tackles (42), quarterback hits (nine), sacks (6.0) and fumble recoveries (two) in 16 games (five starts).

Known for his ability as a pass rush disruptor, Williams might not offer the Lions much against the run, but he can help collapse the pocket as his 2019 numbers prove. The hope is with more playing time, the 31-year-old can continue to play a big role and come into his own in Detroit. This past season, Williams put up just 1.0 sack and 23 total tackles despite starting 13 of 14 games. So obviously, the team could stand to use more from the journeyman lineman. The pressure figures to be on for that starting now.

Here’s a look at some of Williams’ previous work:

Nick Williams Highlights | Detroit LionsWatch highlights of the Lions' newest defensive tackle Nick Williams. Subscribe to the Lions YT Channel: More Lions NFL Action: #DetroitLions #Lions #NFL Keep up-to-date on all things Lions: Visit Follow: Follow: Like:

So far this season, Williams has been decent for the Lions with 14 tackles and 0.5 sacks thus far this season. The team will have to band together to replace some of his production if he remains out.

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