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Tourek Williams Gives Bolts a Boost in Return to Practice
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Tourek Williams was one of the feel good stories over the first two weeks of training camp.
Entering his third season, the outside linebacker underwent a metamorphosis over the offseason, transforming his body and mind with a renewed dedication to football.
“I worked hard all offseason, and I changed my whole mindset,” he said at the time. “From the way I eat and the way I do everything, every single thing was about football. This is my first offseason where I really did that where everything was about football. 100% everything….I went home determined that every morning after I’d wake up, it would be all for football. I’d work out for football and I’d eat for football. That is what I’d worry about. I made sure everything I did was for football.”
His hard work bore fruit as he earned rave reviews in training camp before disaster struck in the first preseason game on Aug. 13. Williams suffered a significant foot injury that put his entire season in jeopardy.
On Wednesday, 76 days later, the outside linebacker returned to practice as a limited participant.
“It felt good to practice because it was tough to be out,” he said. “I’m just trying to be comfortable with my foot. It is going to be sore getting back out there again, so I need to take care of myself to make sure I don’t hurt it again. It was hard to watch my teammates out there because losing games is never fun. You always feel you can contribute and help the team win. That’s why the coaches brought me here, and that’s why they didn’t put me on IR. They feel I can help this team win, so that’s what I’m here to do.”
It was a long, arduous road back for Williams, and one that tested his newly transformed mindset. Nonetheless, his commitment never waived thanks in part to his teammates, coaches and most importantly, his mother Tiffany.
“It was hard at first, but there was nothing I could do about it. The trainers told me it was going to take time and it would be like watching paint dry. But I just had big time faith. I have a lot of faith in God, and my mom stayed on me. So did my teammates and coaches, and my coach in high school. My mom told me I can’t worry about what I can’t control. That I need to keep moving forward. She prayed for me, and massaged my foot with special oils! So small things like that motivate me even more.”
Whether or not he suits up on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens remains to be seen, but the Bolts were thrilled to have him back in the fold on Wednesday.
“It’s great to have him back out there,” McCoy said. “He’s worked hard, and I know it’s hard on him watching every Sunday, going on road trips with us and doing everything. But his hard work will pay off, hopefully in the near future. But it’s great to have him back out there.”
“It’s good to see him back on the field because he gives us a boost,” added Jerry Attaochu. “It makes us feel more like a unit again to have him out there practicing with us again. We’re happy for him. This has been a long road because sitting out isn’t easy. He brings physicality and an intensity that we’ve been missing at times. He is also really good on special teams that we all contribute to as linebackers, so it is definitely good to have him back.”
Williams was one of the Chargers’ top performers on special teams last year, notching 14 tackles in the third phase of the game. McCoy noted how whenever he returns, the 6-4, 262-pound specimen will also provide a boost in the kicking game.
“He’s done a nice job for us (in the past). He was going to have a big role for us early in the year, and unfortunately he’s been out until this point in time. But it’s great to have him back out there today.”