After Sunday’s game was over, Ryan Williams shut off his phone. He felt bad enough about the fumble that almost cost the Cardinals a win. He didn’t need to hear from anyone about it, even if it was words of encouragement.
He turned the phone back on Monday morning. Ten minutes later, he got the call that his grandfather – who had been sick – had passed away.
“The best way I can describe it, I hit rock bottom, on and off the field,” Williams told azcardinals.com Wednesday. “It was a tough thing to swallow.
“I sat back and thought, ‘Is this really happening?’ ”
It did happen. The Cardinals got their win, but Williams was sick about his fumble – his second in two games – and then was hammered with the news about his grandfather.
“When I look at what’s going on, the football fumble doesn’t even amount to what me and my family have been going through the past couple of days,” Williams said. “But me personally, I have to deal with it. That’s been the tough part, having to deal with both, because I’m the one that fumbled.
“It’s something that will make me stronger. My grandfather was so proud of what I accomplished, and I’m going to keep working to make him proud.”
Whether the loss of his family member changed Williams’ perspective given the timing, no one will know. Williams is clearly still haunted by the fact he fumbled. He’s been through hard times before in his life, however, and he is counting on being resilient again.
“Man, look, I came back from a (potentially) career-ending injury,” said Williams (pictured below coming off the field following his turnover). “It’s sad to say I’ve been having this fumbling problem, and I haven’t been playing like myself. It’s hard to go out there and play like yourself at times after that injury. I haven’t really been playing fast and instinctively like I want to, because as soon as some contact comes, sometimes the first thing I think about is ‘Is my leg going to be OK?’ I’m not thinking, ‘Play fast,’ it’s ‘When I get hit, I need to lay myself down so my leg isn’t caught up in some crazy mess.’
“It’s been a lot but the past couple of days, they’ve got to be gone and they will be gone. For me to be me, I can’t play like that. This team expects a lot out of me. We’ve got good teams coming up and a lot of plays need to be made and they need to be made out of the backfield. I’m going to get it done. I’m going to get it done.”
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