McCaffrey cited how Williams breaks down the huddle before each game. That type of presence and energy was an element you can’t replace.
Offensive line coach Chris Foerster explained how Williams played at only 75 percent last Sunday:
“I think that’s probably a pretty accurate assessment of where he was. Seeing how he was on Friday and then how the guys managed the pain going up to the game and everything.
So, there’s always a – they get to a certain point and they know that they can probably make it through. [Former NFL OL Jonathan] Ogden, I always referenced these other cats, but Jonathan Ogden was the same guy. I remember it was the first time I heard it, we were in Baltimore and he goes, yeah, the guy I’m playing today, I can play at 75, 80%. Now if we were playing [former NFL DE] Dwight Freeney, I don’t know if I could go at 80%, 85%. I don’t think anybody is playing at 100% in this league.
Everybody gets hurt, right? And so, playing at 100% once the season starts is really hard. To say you feel fresh as a daisy and all that is not probably it. So, I would say that’s probably what he was but it didn’t show. I think there were certain plays. It wasn’t like the championship game a few years ago against the Rams where he wasn’t anywhere near that and then it showed out almost every play.”
After the last game, Williams said he didn’t have any setbacks, but that his ankle didn’t get any better. NBC Sports’ Bay Area’s Jennifer Lee Chan tweeted this video from Thursday’s practice:
There are a couple of promising signs from the video above. One, Williams’ ankle isn’t heavily spatted. Him being able to practice without having his ankle tapped or wrapped is encouraging.
Plus, it looks like Williams is able to push off his right ankle and put pressure on it — something he couldn’t do last Sunday. The 49ers play this Sunday, then again on Thursday. If Williams can make it through these two games, he’ll have a mini-bye week to recover.