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Video: Mario Williams day-to-day with left foot injury, won't talk about it

By Tim Graham

PITTSFORD -- Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone gave a forthcoming update about Mario Williams today and experienced a much tidier interaction with reporters than he did Tuesday.

Williams, however, declined to answer when he got hurt, how he got hurt or when he might be back. Williams didn't have tape or a brace on either foot as he worked out with strength coaches on an adjacent field.

Marrone gave this opening statement for his daily post-practice news conference at St. John Fisher College:

"Obviously, everyone knows that Mario returned last night. He was back on the field today, observing practice. He returned to campus last night. I spoke to him after he spoke to the doctors on the way here. Obviously, we sent him out of Rochester. Our medical staff, with addition consultation with Dr. Anderson, determined that the best course of action was rest and treatment.

"Really, there's no timetable for his return. But it's day-by-day. So that's where his situation is right now."

Dr. Robert Andrews is a prominent foot specialist based in Charlotte, N.C. Marrone also confirmed the injury was Williams' left foot and, nearly 11 minutes into his news conference, fielded his first and only Williams question of the day.

I asked whether there's concern a star veteran such as Williams, who realistically can afford to miss practice more than other campers, will be out while new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine installs what's considered a complex system.

"With the time that we've had with him and the OTAs and the minicamp and being there and learning it ... Learning now is so different," Marrone said. "Because he's a player that has demonstrated those skills in the past, I feel better.

"I think now, hey, he can work on the day-to-day, but he can spend more time, really, looking and really getting involved in that playbook to see all the different things that are going on and learn what everyone's doing around him.

"I have no concern when it's day-by-day at this time of year. I think during the season, when you game plan, there obviously are some concerns."

Williams met with reporters immediately after Marrone's news conference and deferred all questions about the injury back to Marrone.

"Anything regarding being sore or bruises, aches, anything like that, I can't, because of what has been said as far as amongst our team and how we're supposed to handle those things, that's up to" Marrone, Williams said. "I can't discuss it."

How did it happen?

"I can't discuss it," Williams replied.

Is it a new injury?

"I can't discuss it," Williams replied.

Is there any concern this could become an ongoing issue like last year's wrist injury?

"No," Williams replied.

This is the second time in two seasons an ambiguous Williams injury put his coach in an awkward spot. I asked him why that has happened.

"At the end of the day, the coach handles all the injuries," Williams said. "However he goes about handling it, that's out of my control. We're told from Day One in our policies and how we're run that anything involving any ailments is discussed and brought to attention by him.

"We're all in this together. We're all on the same page. So however he portrays it to you guys, I know I've got to honor my word and honor him instead of just saying stuff."


Doug Marrone | Mario Williams
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |