Former Syracuse and Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams is on life support in the intensive care unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital due to injuries from a construction accident, the mother of his 8-year-old daughter told the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday.
Tierney Lyle and their daughter, Mya, visited a "mostly non-responsive" Williams on Wednesday afternoon. Lyle said the plan is for the 36-year-old to be removed from life support but it has not happened yet.
“He was asleep when we went in there and he woke up when he heard our voices and his daughter’s voice,” Lyle said. “And he looked around, and he blinked and he was crying but he can’t move.”
Tuesday night, Spectrum Sports in Buffalo reported that Williams was dead. The news was picked up by multiple outlets and later confirmed to be false.
Williams had two great years at Syracuse, first with a career-best 837 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior in 2007. He followed it up with 746 receiving yards and six touchdowns in 2009, which came after he was suspended for the 2008 season over an academic issue.
Williams spent five years in the NFL, first with the Buccaneers after they selected him in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He had a dominant three-year run in Tampa, where he racked up a career-best 11 touchdowns and 964 yards as a rookie and came up just 4 yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark in 2012. Williams signed a five-year extension with the Buccaneers in 2013, but had a string of off-field issues and was eventually traded to the Bills in 2014.
Former NFL defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who spent four seasons with Williams in Tampa from 2010 to 2014, tweeted his thoughts and prayers:
Dang man hurts my heart seeing the news of my former teammate and Buccaneers 2010 draft class brother Mike Williams. Always great energy, brought joy and laughter to the locker room and a heck of a player!! Prayers and blessings to his family!! 🙏🏾😔
— Gerald McCoy (@Geraldini93) September 6, 2023
The Buffalo native appeared in nine games for the Bills that season, but was waived later that fall. After a brief suspension in 2015, he signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016, though he didn’t make it back onto the field.
In total, Williams had 3,089 receiving yards on 223 receptions and 26 touchdowns in the league.