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CB Williams Remains Undeterred

Posted Jan 10, 2006

Although Darrent Williams says he's "around 60 percent" in his recovery from a groin injury, he believes he'll be ready for Saturday.

 

Darrent Williams
Punt returning might not be in Darrent Williams' immediate future, but he believes a return to game action is imminent after missing the last three games of the regular season. PHOTO: JAMIE SCHWABEROW / RICH CLARKSON AND ASSOCIATES


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Darrent Williams says he's at "around 60 percent" in his recovery from a groin injury.

The rookie cornerback also says that'll be enough to allow him to play.

"I would play today if it was my decision," Williams said, "but I don't know. (Head) Coach (Mike) Shanahan and the other guys make those decision, but if we had to play today, I'd go out here and play."

Shanahan wasn't ready to pronounce the rookie cornerback as ready to play, not with so much time between Monday's work and Saturday's kickoff.

"I don't know if he's full go," Shanahan said. "But he practiced (Monday). I don't want him to go full speed, like he would on a punt return or a kickoff return, but he's had three days of practice, so hopefully there'll be no setback and if there's not a setback, he'll be ready to play."

Added Williams: "I can do a lot of things, I just can't open up and I can't do everything. I'm not going half-speed, but I'm not going full-throttle, either, so it's around 60 percent."

The key, though, is being able to play swiftly at 60 percent. Williams believes he can do just that.

"If I'm out there at 60 percent, I can go out there and play, because I don't ever play tentative," Williams said. "That's not in my character to go out there and play tentative. If I've got a broken arm and I'm on the field, I'm going to go as hard as I can. I don't ever play tentative at all.

"(Monday) I was out there and pretty much going as fast as I could and I was doing all of those things," Williams added. "I feel all right. I'm still feeling it. Like I said, it's not 100 percent; it's not completely healed, but I can go out there and do some things. I felt pretty comfortable today. I think I did all right. I did pretty good out there."

Champ Bailey, for one, didn't doubt that his younger cornerback compadre would be able to line up alongside him when Saturday night arrives.

"Well, a cornerback that good probably can (play at 60 percent)," Bailey said. "You don't want to play at that level but you have to. I know he's trying to push himself all week to get back out there."

There's a certain circle of wisdom at work there. While Bailey speaks of Williams' ability to play through injury, it's Williams who cites Bailey's persistence in playing through shoulder and hamstring injuries earlier this season.

Monday, Bailey earned another fruit from his efforts -- a second consecutive All-Pro award. Bailey's persistent zeal through injuries, his career-high interception total in spite of them and the resulting All-Pro denotation combine to create an example Williams knows he'd be best served by following.

In fact, Williams said he hasn't been at 100 percent since he sprained his ankle during the Week 3 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. That caused him to sit out the 20-7 win at Jacksonville on Oct. 2; he returned a week later against the Washington Redskins and started for the next two months before injuring his groin.

"(The ankle) got up to about 90 and I kind of tweaked it again," Williams said. " Right now it feels pretty good. It's probably the best it's been since I hurt it, since I had so much time off. I was playing at about 85 percent and I was just taking it real good, so you've just got to learn to play at those things. Just like this groin injury. It's a different type of injury, but I'm trying to play with it.

"I've got that Champ Bailey attitude."

But beyond that, there's an urgency to Williams' desire to play. That's what happens aat playoff time.

"I'm feeling it a lot. That's why I'm trying to go out here and play and why I keep saying, 'Yeah, I can play,'" Williams said. "I don't want to miss this opportunity. Who's to say how it's going to come out this week. I'm not waiting on next week.

"I want to play right now because I might not get this opportunity again. It's just how it is, playing against the two-time Super Bowl champions, the Patriots. Everybody's going to be watching, so I'd love to be on the field."

Even at much less than 100 percent.