Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Injured Texans linebacker on the road to recovery

HOUSTON — Injured Texans outside linebacker Mario Williams says he’s healing “extremely fast” in his recovery from a torn chest muscle that will sideline him the rest of this season.

The 6-foot-6-inch, 283-pound Williams left in the first quarter of Houston’s 25-20 loss to Oakland on Oct. 9. He was placed on injured reserve and had surgery, his second procedure in less than a year.

Williams, the franchise’s all-time sacks leader (53), spoke Tuesday outside Houston Police headquarters near downtown, where he donated five Chevrolet Camaros to the department.

Williams, the top overall pick in the 2006 draft, says his recovery is “actually going too well,” and he sometimes forgets that he underwent surgery less than a month ago.

“I think I feel too good,” Williams said. “I definitely should still have some things going on, but my healing is coming back extremely fast. I’ve got to remember that I had surgery when I go to pick up the remote control or put on my shirt and things like that.”

Williams set no timeline on when he’d be able to restart football-related activities.

“We’re just relaxing, taking it slow,” he said. “There’s nothing we need to rush.”

The Texans (5-3) have played well defensively since Williams was injured, with rookie Brooks Reed taking his position.

Houston enters Sunday’s game against Cleveland (3-4) ranked third in total defense (289 yards per game) and fifth against the pass (189 yards per game). The Texans rank ninth in sacks (20), but Williams thinks his team could improve its pass rush.

“They’re playing great, but we definitely need to get more sacks,” Williams said. “If I was there, if I wasn’t there, we need more sacks, in general. I tell those guys every day, ‘Are y’all gonna get some more sacks or what? Do I have to come back from my injury really quick and try to get something going? I definitely try to push those guys every day.”

Williams, a two-time starter in the Pro Bowl, sat out the last three games last season with a sports hernia that also required surgery. Only 26, Williams isn’t worried that he’s becoming prone to injuries.

“The things that happened were freak accidents, something that was out of my hands,” he said. “I don’t get frustrated with things I can’t handle.”

Williams grew up around military families in North Carolina, and his brother-in-law served in the U.S. Army and was killed in Iraq in 2003. Williams says he’s considering a career in law enforcement after his playing career is over, an aspiration that developed after he left North Carolina State.

“My family background is military, and after I came out of college, I knew that life after football, what I wanted to do,” he said. “Everybody talks about having a Plan B. Football is not forever. I hope it’s close to forever, but one day, it’s going to end for everybody. My passion after that will be in law enforcement.”

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Injured Texans linebacker on the road to recovery