Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams told a Baltimore-area radio station Thursday that a 2011 shoulder injury still hasn't fully healed.
"Like I said, I had nerve damage, so that’s one thing that takes time. It could be a year, it could be two years to come back," Williams told 105.7 The Fan, via Sports Radio Interviews. "And it’s made progress, but it’s still coming. So it’s one of those deals to where my shoulder’s still getting better at this point. I’m still working on it and hopefully it comes all the way back this year.”
Williams originally hurt his shoulder during the Packers' Week 1 win over the New Orleans Saints in 2011. He missed only one game that season (the next week vs. Carolina), and came back in 2012 to play in all 16.
Officially, Williams hasn't been on the injury report because of the shoulder since 2011.
However, one could argue the 29-year-old has regressed since the injury.
After breaking out as the No. 4 overall cornerback (+18.0) at Pro Football Focus in 2010, Williams has finished at No. 45 in 2011 (+1.2) and No. 55 in 2012 (-0.2).
In fact, over the last two seasons, no cornerback has allowed more total yards than Williams' 2,011. He has also been the NFL's second-most targeted corner since 2011 (231 total).
With his shoulder still on the mend, Williams said he hasn't been able to fully utilize the pressing techniques that helped make him one of the NFL's best cover corners in 2010.
“We press a lot in Green Bay so I wasn’t able to do it at that point, wasn’t able to do anything. So it was kind of hard to sit back, because when you’re off you’re kind of giving away some throws," Williams said. "You don’t want to give up anything. So you have to kind of compensate your game for the injury, but like I said, I got through it and just continue to progress."
Williams will turn 30 years old later this month, and he's on the hook for $8.5 million in 2013. Only Jermichael Finley ($8.75 million) and Aaron Rodgers ($9.25 million) will make more.
Bure even with that sizable chunk of change scheduled to come his way, Williams' starting spot in 2013 won't be guaranteed, according to Packers cornerback Joe Whitt.
"We don't work in a business that you can get comfortable and so the guys, we’ll always say, their play will dictate who runs through the tunnel. The guys that play the best will play. That practice the best, that have the best tests," Whitt said, via Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee. "We’re about winning championships, and we fell short. And that’s our charge. We’re going to put the guys out there that are doing the best. If it’s a different guy each week, that’s what it will be. We’re going to do that."
Williams intercepted two passes and defensed 16 more in 16 starts last season.
Zach Kruse is a 24-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covers prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.