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Cadillac's pain: bruised ribs
The running back takes a hit in the side and has to leave the game. It's unclear how long he'll be sidelined.
By JOANNE KORTH
Published September 10, 2007
Cadillac Williams winces as he leaves the field with trainers after being hit in the side by Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu during the third quarter.
[Brendan Fitterer | Times]
SEATTLE - Cadillac Williams' healthy start lasted barely more than one half of one game. And there's no telling when he'll feel good again.
Williams has bruised ribs.
For a running back, there's not much worse.
"He took a shot right on his ribs," receiver Michael Clayton said. "It's very, very, extremely painful. Lac is a warrior. He's not coming out of the game unless something is really wrong."
Williams, 25, left with 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter after taking a shot in the rib cage from the side by hard-hitting Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu.
Williams was on the ground for several minutes before being helped up by the training staff and walking off. On the sideline, he continued to wince in pain and soon went to the locker room. He did not return to the field and was not seen after the game.
"You don't like to lose a Carnell Williams," coach Jon Gruden said. "He started the season hurt last year, and it appears he's got some rib injury to start this season. When you have sore ribs and you're a running back and you're playing pro football, that's not a good deal."
Williams, the No. 5 overall pick in 2005, had trouble with back spasms to start 2006. He missed two games each of the past two seasons with foot injuries.
Williams had 60 yards on 12 carries and two receptions for 14 yards. On the Bucs' opening possession, he fumbled after a reception.
Michael Pittman and Earnest Graham split time in his absence, with mixed results. Pittman caught five passes for 32 yards but had a 2-yard average on three carries. Graham carried four times for 11 yards, but fumbled at the end of his only reception.
The fumble, forced by Tatupu, came at Seattle's 12-yard line with the Bucs trailing 20-6 late in the fourth quarter.
"In the NFL, when you turn the ball over and make mistakes, you lose," Graham said. "When Lac goes down, somebody has to step up to make sure we don't lose a step."
Williams' status for Sunday's home opener against the Saints is uncertain.
"I've had ribs, not to the extent of what he's having, but it's tough," Graham said. "It's hard to breathe. Cadillac's a tough guy, but if he can't go, then Pitt and I will be out there."