Chicago Bears (update): Will injury history derail Williams acquisition?
Might the Chicago Bears have just gotten some relief for their injury-ravaged cornerback position? Maybe, but it looks like it could be a mirage.
NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport just reported that the Bears have been awarded former Cleveland Browns CB K’Waun Williams via waivers after he was released by the Browns yesterday.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 30, 2016
The 25-year-old Williams, who signed with the Browns in 2014 as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Pittsburgh, started 10 games over his two seasons in Cleveland as a primarily nickel corner, posting 31 tackles, a sack, two passes defended, and three forced fumbles last season.
The potential addition of Williams to this Bears unit would be a tremendous boost to a secondary that has seen injuries to both of its top outside corners, Kyle Fuller (knee) and Tracy Porter (concussion), as well as Bryce Callahan (hamstring), the current starting nickel. In a perfect world, Williams would provide valuable depth and possibly even push Callahan for snaps.
New #Bears slot CB K’Waun Williams (5-9, 183) had 3 three forced fumbles last season. That would’ve made him takeaways leader in CHI.
— Arthur Arkush (@ArthurArkush) August 30, 2016
But that appears to be a pretty large “if” at the moment. The strange saga that brought Williams to the Bears includes him being on a two-week suspension for apparently refusing to play against the Green Bay Packers while seeking second and third opinions on an ankle injury, as reported by Cleveland.com. The ailment in question is said to be bone spurs, which multiple doctors have advised Williams to have surgically removed according to Scott Petrak of The Chronicle.
This doesn’t sound like someone who is going to be ready to play for the Bears right now, if at all. Even if Williams passes his physical—as was found with Bryan Stork, that’s not always a given—the injuries that have kept him from preparing fully this preseason likely will continue to limit him until the bone spurs are removed. Adding a cornerback with foot/ankle issues to our already full stable of injured DBs is not a delightful prospect.
And yet, if the possibility exists that Williams could pass a physical/be healthy enough to contribute down the line, this acquisition could be a steal for the Bears. I just don’t know how optimistic we should be.
UDPATE: Per Aaron Leming of BearReport, Williams is set to take his physical tomorrow. According to a source noted in the story, he received a cortisone shot last week and is expected, pending the passing of his physical, to begin practicing with the Bears immediately.
Williams is still expected to need surgery to remove the bone spurs but is for now electing to undergo surgery at the end of the season.