Things were looking good for the Las Vegas Raiders‘ wide receiver corps this year. They brought in a couple of dynamic rookies and Tyrell Williams was fully healthy and ready to return to form. Unfortunately, he’s not going to get that chance. News broke last week that he tore a labrum in his shoulder but was going to try and play through it.
It looks like he’s not going to be able to do it as he’s opted for surgery and the Raiders are putting him on injured reserve, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.
There was some chatter about how Williams has suffered this injury before and played through it but that’s not going to happen this time. This is a pretty big blow to the Raiders. Williams was supposed to be a starter along with Henry Ruggs. Before his injury last season, Williams was a touchdown machine for the team. Losing him means the team will have to rely heavily on rookies.
Has Williams Played His Last Game as a Raiders?
While this is a bad blow for the Raiders, it’s devastating for Williams. Fans were down on him after a disappointing first season with the team. It’s hard to imagine the Raiders will be planning on keeping his big contract on the books next season. The team paid him like he was going to be a number one or two wide receiver but his recent string of injuries makes him a lot less valuable.
Unless he’s willing to restructure his contract, the Raiders are likely to release him at some point in the offseason. He’s a really good player when healthy but he takes up too much cap space considering his injury history. There’s a slight chance he could still be in Las Vegas next season, it’s just seeming like his days are numbered with the team.
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Potential Replacements for Williams
With the season starting very soon, the Raiders aren’t going to find a perfect replacement for Williams. Obviously, Antonio Brown is still a free agent but general manager Mike Mayock is more likely to put on some pads and play wide receiver than bring him back. Other than Brown, there aren’t great options on the market.
Dez Bryant is a free agent but there’s a reason nobody has signed him yet. The fact that he had a workout with the Baltimore Ravens and nothing came of it is pretty telling. Josh Gordon also has Pro Bowl potential. However, the Raiders could’ve signed him last season when their wide receiver woes were much worse and decided to pass.
This likely means that no big moves at wide receiver are incoming. Especially when you factor in the rave reviews that Bryan Edwards has gotten. He was probably always meant to replace Williams at some point and it’s looking like it’s going to happen faster than anybody expected. There will be some growing pains for the rookie but he’s got a ton of talent and is the perfect complement to Ruggs.