In typical Kyle Williams fashion he tried to play through it. Buffalo's Pro Bowl defensive tackle just hoped his nagging foot injury that first cropped up in training camp would eventually subside and allow him to be the penetrating nose tackle that he's always been. After five games his left foot has refused to cooperate forcing team doctors to put it in an immobilizer boot until further notice.
"I've only taken this boot off to sleep," said Williams, who has already been ruled out for Sunday's game against Washington. "They've tried to immobilize it as much as possible."
After undergoing a multitude of tests and seeking the opinions of a few specialists, the prognoses were largely mixed.
"Some were encouraging, some weren't," said Williams. "Everybody has a different opinion, but everyone was of the same opinion to put this (immobilizer) boot on and shut it down for a little bit and get some healing in there where I can come back and perform and help our team."
Williams has had the boot on full time since the day after Buffalo's Week 6 loss to the Giants. The main reason why was because the foot ailment kept him from doing even the simplest of tasks.
"There's a difference between playing when things hurt and when something is injured and it keeps you from doing anything," said Williams. "When it's something where you can't jog… jogging is a pretty easy thing to do. Obviously this isn't what I want to be doing right now. It's one of those things where I can't do anything about it."
Having had the boot on for a full week Williams has no idea if the foot has improved in any way, and won't know until he's cleared to remove it. Then and only then will he and the team physicians and athletic trainers be able to determine what's realistic with respect to playing moving forward.
"Whether that's this week or next I don't know," said Williams. "We haven't gone that far. Until they give me the okay to take it off and test it and see what it looks like on the inside and see what it looks like with me on the field trying to do something… hopefully in the near future we'll see where it's at."
For now Williams is reduced to spectator status, and how long he'll remain idle is cloudy. Williams called himself "week to week." What's looking more and more likely is surgery at the end of the season.
"Yeah I think it's something we might have to address at the end of the year," he said when asked if surgery is possible after the season. "Right now we're trying to get some inflammation and some of the problems in there out and hopefully I can come back later in the year and help the team. Down the road though it's probably something we're going to have to look at."