Mike Williams, Former NFL Player, Dead At 36 After Tragic Accident

Former NFL player Mike Williams died on September 12, 2023, at age 36. Sports commentator Ian Rapoport announced the news in a tweet recently shared. "Former NFL WR Mike Williams passed away this morning after a tough battle, according to his agent Hadley Engelhard of @EnterSportsMgmt," Rapoport wrote. Williams' agent, Hadley Engelhard, confirmed the tragic news. "He will be missed. He fought hard his whole life. Prayers to his family," he shared, according to Rapoport's tweet.

Williams' death follows a freak accident that left the former athlete unresponsive and on life support in the ICU. "'He was asleep when we went in there and he woke up when he heard our voices and his daughter's voice," Tierney Lyle, the mother of Williams' 8-year-old daughter, told Tampa Bay Times of the athlete's critical condition. "And he looked around, and he blinked and he was crying but he can't move." Lyle, who paid the athlete a visit at the hospital, also confirmed to the Tampa Bay Times that their daughter was distraught by the accident. "She's mad. She cried so much yesterday and today. She's just angry. That was daddy's girl," she explained to the outlet. Fox News reported that Williams suffered a head injury, causing his brain and spinal cord to swell. The athlete was subsequently paralyzed in his right arm and from the waist down. 

Before the NFL, Mike Williams was a college star

While studying at Syracuse University, Mike Williams kickstarted his college career, playing on the school's football team. With Syracuse, Willimas made a lot of remarkable strides, including 461 receiving yards during his freshman year. In the 2009 season, Williams also caught 49 balls for 746 yards, per Fox News. But despite a controversial end to his college career, Williams made it through to the NFL.

In 2010, Williams was drafted 101st overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and went on to play with the team for three seasons. In his first year with the team, the athlete was voted second Offensive Rookie of the Year. During his time with the Buccaneers, he caught 133 receptions, as reported by The U.S. Sun. He was subsequently traded to the Buffalo Bills, where he played for just one season.

Following his release from the Buffalo Bills, ESPN reported that Williams received a six-week suspension by the NFL over an undisclosed issue. Though he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in April 2016, Williams's time with the team was shortlived as he was released only a few months later, according to NBC Sports.