Bobbie Williams, the lovable and always-smiling veteran offensive lineman has been placed on injured reserve today.
Williams hurt his right ankle during Sunday’s 20-19 loss to the Houston Texans. With 6 minutes left in the second quarter, he fell to the ground and needed an examination from the training staff. He then unbelievably walked off the field under his own power. A 300+ pound man walking on a broken right ankle, with absolutely no help. What a tough man, and he even seemed to be pumping the crowd up as he left the field.
It appeared that Right Tackle Anthony Collins (starting in place of the injured Andre Smith) tripped over a Texans player and his shoulder slammed into Williams’ ankle on the play. His ankle simply rolled up under the weight of Collins.
Williams said this about the injury:
"“Just got rolled up on. Didn’t see who it was or anything. Guess it’s just one of them things that happened. From what the docs say it’s clean (break), so that’s a good thing. I’ll find out tomorrow when I see Dr. Amos. He’s a real good doctor and he’ll let me know everything tomorrow.”"
Right Guard Otis Hudson was signed to the team’s roster to fill Williams’ empty roster spot. Hudson had been Williams backup to start the season, but was injured during training camp and wasn’t available went Williams couldn’t play due to suspension. Hudson had been placed on the practice squad when he recovered, and has been there ever since.
Williams has started at Right Guard for the Bengals for the past 8 seasons. He’s missed 7 games in that span, but was truly one of the best and underrated linemen in the game a few years ago.
This season, it wasn’t set in stone that he would even start for the Bengals anymore, given his age and sliding ability. However, Williams showed up to camp in shape and looking fantastic, only to be suspended for the first 4 games of the season because he unknowingly took performance enhancing substances. Heir-apparent at right guard, Clint Boling (2011 4th rounder) started the first 4 games of the season in his place, but was actually benched in favor of free-agent acquisition Mike McGlynn in his 4th game. Williams returned and started in the 5th game of the season, adding stability and consistency to an offensive line that had struggled in both the running and passing areas. Williams’ play was serviceable, though certainly not up to the standards he had once set only a few years back.
Now, the Bengals will have a chance to give either Mike McGlynn or Clint Boling or Otis Hudson a 3-game audition to decide the future of the Bengals at Right Guard. The Bengals may choose to take an interior lineman very early in the draft next year as a result. Left Guard Nate Livings has had a plethora of mistakes this season, and Bobbie Williams may have played his last snap as a Bengal. Williams is the oldest player on the team at 35 years of age, 3 years older than the second oldest, CB Nate Clements. Williams will have to go through much rehab to repair his broken right ankle. Hopefully, the lovable big man will come back better than ever next year. If not, Bengals fans will miss him.