The Buffalo Bills received great news to start the first official week of the regular season: Aaron Williams, the team's best safety, has returned to practice in full for the first time since August 11.
After a collision with wide receiver Dez Lewis during a training camp left both players on the turf and slow to get up, Williams was placed into concussion protocol. Williams has been away from practice for so long, that he wasn't able to participate in any preseason games through the summer. His stay on concussion protocol lasted nearly a month.
Considering his injury history, and the fact that his career was nearly cut short after a neck injury sustained in 2015, there was immediate cause for concern when the injury initially happened. Williams, 26, is entering his sixth season in the league and is viewed as one of the team's top defensive starters.
With Williams back to practice in a full capacity, there is now a certain degree of expectation that he'll be ready for the Bills season opener against Baltimore on Sunday.
Joe B.'s Take
Williams making a full return to the Bills on Tuesday couldn't have come at a better time. He's clearly the best safety they have on their roster, and even if he hasn't taken a big hit in an actual game setting since his neck injury last season, he is an immediate upgrade over Duke Williams at the back end of the defense.
The Baltimore Ravens, with Joe Flacco at quarterback and their new speed threat in Mike Wallace, they have a tendency to push the ball down the field vertically along the sidelines. Because of that fact, subtracting Duke Williams from the starting lineup -- he notoriously struggles in coverage -- and adding the former cornerback and more instinctive Aaron Williams, will help potentially thwart those efforts in the game.
Of course, he'll still have to go through the full paces of a game before it's determined if he's all the way back from both his neck injury and this summer's concussion, but this is fantastic news to start off the week for the Buffalo Bills.