For the past five and a half weeks Bills Pro Bowl DT Kyle Williams rehabbed and trained to get his injured knee back to a level where he could play on it again this season. On Thursday afternoon however, it was decided that his knee just wasn't responding and would not be fit for play the rest of the season. Williams will undergo surgery to repair a meniscus and will miss the rest of the 2015 campaign.
That was the news delivered by head coach Rex Ryan following Friday's practice.
"I don't believe he's going to be able to help us the rest of this year," said a disappointed Ryan. "It's unfortunate because I know nobody has tried to get out here more than he has. It just hasn't responded."
Ryan admitted that Williams is likely headed to injured reserve effectively ending his season.
Williams was injured in Buffalo's Week 6 loss to Cincinnati when a teammate's body got rolled up on his leg. The initial diagnosis was that surgery would be required, but Williams and the athletic training staff wanted to try to treat and rehab the injury to allow him to return to the field before the season was over and have surgery later.
"It's been tough," Williams said. "It was something that we knew would have to be addressed sooner or later and we hoped against hope that I could get through and respond and play with it and then wait until after the season. I've done that before with different injuries, but it's not going well so we're going to go ahead and address it and take care of it and get better."
If Williams tried to play in his current condition he would have essentially been playing on one leg and would've been risking further injury. The veteran defensive tackle said that after weeks of rehab his knee is still very far from being game ready.
"I know that it was bad enough that if we went in and fixed it right away that I would be out for longer than the time we had left in the season," Williams said. "So we decided to try to power through it and come back and play because I felt like we had a good team that had an opportunity to go to the playoffs and do some good things.
"I've been here a long time and I really wanted that more than anything, but that's why it took us five and a half, six weeks to push and get back. I've been really trying to do it and it's just not responding."
So Williams will undergo surgery in the near future and said his rehabilitation from surgery will take "a few months."
"I'll be honest with you after going through back to back years of Achilles surgery nothing really scares me," he said. "So it's going to take a little time, but I guess they all do."
Williams fully intends to be around the team on a daily basis to help his defensive teammates prepare for their upcoming opponents.
"I'll be here for every meeting helping our guys prepare and get ready," said Williams. "They count on me for that and I don't think you can snatch the rug out from under them on that. So I'll be here breaking film down and breaking players down for our guys and telling them what I see and help them get on the same page so we can win. And we can go to the playoffs and we can do some good things."
As for his playing future, Williams, who has two years left on his contract, fully intends to continue his Bills career in 2016 and beyond.
"I think when you're away from it and you're pulled out from it you realize how much you miss it and want to be with your teammates playing," he said. "So I've got no plans to not play anymore if that's what you're asking me.
"I think the great thing about this game is you're judged by what you do out there on the field. When I'm out there I feel like I do a pretty good job when I'm out there. The thing that's not measured is what you have in your head and in your heart and I've got plenty of that left to give. I want to see every goal and every dream I've had since I got here 10 years ago, I want to see it come true. We've got a great staff and a lot of guys that believe in one another.
"So I'm going to give you what I've got until I can't and we'll figure that out together. Up until this point I felt really good this year. It's just something that is the price of doing business sometimes. It's the nature of this league where you've got some guys who can come back and play and that's what my plan is."