He was on a pitch count when it came to playing time in the preseason, due to an ailing foot problem. Heading into the opener however, there are no more restrictions for Bills top pass rusher Mario Williams.
"What I have seen in practice now, more so than what I saw in preseason, is a more active player," said head coach Doug Marrone. "A player that's running around, a player that looks to be 100-percent and that was our goal."
From the start of training camp Williams practice reps were strictly monitored to keep a minor foot ailment from turning into a persistent problem. The patience of Buffalo's athletic trainers and coaching staff appear to have paid off.
After getting eight snaps in the preseason opener at Indianapolis, Williams did not play again until the team's third preseason game when he saw his most extensive action. Williams got 20 snaps against Washington.
"I'm good," said Williams. "I'm excited to get back out there and get on the field and get after it."
Marrone and his defensive staff have made every effort through scheme and reduced practice regimen with the foot ailment to ensure that Williams' on field abilities are maximized.
"We've got to make sure that this is the type of player that has the ability to take control of the game," said Marrone. "I think we game plan, and then go back through and say, 'Okay, where is he going to line up? Where is he going to be?' Make sure we can have a plan for him.
"We also wanted to make sure that whatever soreness and stuff he had during training camp, we were able to get him 100-percent healthy for the season. What I've seen on the field, that's what I see. I think we've accomplished that goal."