Last week Mario Williams was at a dead end with his ailing wrist. He was hoping it would be better in four to six weeks after initially injuring it in the team's final preseason game. After eight weeks it was time to address the wrist with more than just rest and rehab in between practices and games. That's why he had surgery last Tuesday. Now just six days later, Williams' outlook is very positive with respect to the last nine games of the regular season.
"It uplifts me tremendously," said Williams. "Knowing that the training staff had confidence in it, knowing it's going to give me an edge as far as getting back. Before there was nothing we could do about it, it was stagnant. So I'm definitely excited. It was definitely beneficial."
For Williams the wrist was a hindrance not only on the field on Sundays, but off the field. His strength was impacted because lifting weights with the rest of his teammates during the week between games was not an option. Despite following the rehab regimen of the athletic training staff, the wrist wasn't improving. It quickly became obviously to him that had he not had the wrist cleaned out it would've been a season long issue.
"There was a decision made amongst us, myself and the training staff," said Williams. "I'm a hands-on person. Everything I do is with my hands and working out. Not being able to do that just mentally has been frustrating. I just feel like I've been stagnant. But that's why I'm very excited being able to go clean it out and being optimistic about the things that happen as far as going forward from now on."
Coming out of the surgery Williams has the assurance of the doctors that the wrist will improve as more and more time passes.
"The biggest thing is making sure it heals at this point," said Williams. "I haven't had any swelling. They were shocked with how it came out and how well everything is already on the (mend). So I'm very optimistic and excited about it and hopefully get a chance to work out here soon."
Williams plans to practice this week and play on Sunday. He also intends to continue wearing a cast on his left wrist.
"I was told from the advice from the trainers and the doctors to wear the cast," he said. "I would be wearing the cast regardless because if I hadn't had it done I'd still be in the cast and the same predicament. But now in my mind I have a better mindset of this week and next week it's going to get better. At least I know it's going in the right direction."
Knowing Williams mindset and physical state have been improved by the surgery has the defensive end's teammates encouraged as well.
"It'll be great for us," said Chris Kelsay. "He's a heck of a ball player. It was great that he was able to take advantage of the bye and get healthy. So we're all looking forward to that."
In the wake of a disappointing first half of the season for the team and himself personally, Williams sounded like he wanted to make good in the second half of season with much margin for error at 3-4.
"I know this isn't me," said Williams of his first seven games in a Bills uniform. "I've said that before. I've never had something where it's lingered this long, either its season ending or it goes over a week. This has been almost nine weeks now and that's just been tough, but that's part of it. You get injured. Everybody gets injured and set back. The biggest thing for me is just being able to rebound in the second part of the season and get after it.
"Criticism is criticism. The biggest thing for me are my expectations for myself. Nobody wants me to do better more than me. So with this procedure it's definitely given me a lot of hope and a different mindset."