Former Syracuse, Buccaneers WR Mike Williams is on life support after a construction accident

Mike Williams spent five seasons in the league and last played for the Buffalo Bills in 2014.
Mike Williams spent five seasons in the league and last played for the Buffalo Bills in 2014. (AP/Evan Vucci)

Former Syracuse and Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams is on life support in the intensive care unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital due to injuries sustained in a construction accident, the mother of his 8-year-old daughter said Tampa Bay Times On Wednesday.

Tierney Lyle and her daughter Mya visited a “largely unresponsive” Williams on Wednesday afternoon. Lyle said there were plans to take the 36-year-old off life support but that has not yet happened.

“He was asleep when we walked in and he woke up to hearing our voices and his daughter’s,” Lyle said. “And he looked around and blinked and cried but couldn’t move.”

according to a GoFundMe was founded by his parents, Wendell Muhammad and Latrina Moore, Williams suffered a serious head injury when a steel beam fell on him during an operation at a construction site, causing his brain to swell and his spinal cord torn. He was completely paralyzed in his right arm and below the waist.

More from Williams’ parents:

“Around 9 p.m. on Friday, September 1, 2023, Mike Williams passed out. According to doctors, he suffered from severe breathing problems and had to be taken to intensive care. This time, doctors found that his diaphragm was pressing on his lungs, causing complications with his breathing as a result. They reported that his lungs were filled with water. Doctors managed to free the diaphragm from the pressure on his lungs, removing the water and allowing him to breathe a little better. Unfortunately, my son, Mike Williams, never regained consciousness. As reported to me on September 4, 2023, he has not woken up since the night of September 1, 2023. He was reportedly initiated on Sunday 3rd September 2023 and doctors sent him at a scheduled time to try and wake him up in 3 days (God willing).

Williams had two great years at Syracuse, first with 837 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior in 2007, the best of his career. In 2009, after being suspended for the 2008 season, that followed for 746 receiving yards and six touchdowns over an academic issue.

Williams spent five years in the league, first with the Buccaneers after they selected him in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He had a dominant streak for three years in Tampa, where he had a career-best 11 touchdowns and 964 yards as a rookie and went just four yards under the 1,000 yard mark in 2012. Williams signed a five-year extension after joining the Buccaneers in 2013 but had a series of problems off the field and was eventually traded to the Bills in 2014.

Former NFL defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who spent four seasons at Williams in Tampa from 2010 to 2014, tweeted his thoughts and prayers:

The Buffalo native made nine appearances for the Bills this season but was released later that fall. After a brief suspension in 2015, he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016 but did not make it back onto the field.

Overall, Williams had 3,089 receiving yards from 223 receptions and 26 touchdowns in the league.

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