[UPDATE]: San Diego Chargers rookie wide receiver Mike Williams is expected to make his NFL debut on Sunday afternoon against the rival Oakland Raiders, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Chargers’ 1st-round pick Mike Williams will make his NFL debut Sunday vs Raiders after battling a back injury since off-season, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 15, 2017
The Los Angeles Chargers selected Mike Williams with the seventh overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and have been awaiting his debut following a herniated disc that he suffered back in May. While the team has eased him back into practice, head coach Anthony Lynn now sees an end in sight for all the waiting, although he won’t commit to an exact day or week just yet:
“He’s very close,” Lynn said via NBC Sports. “We’ll see at the end of the week where he’s at. He’s been in the playbook the whole time.”
Williams was a member of last season’s National champion Clemson Tigers bunch. As a junior, he hauled in 98 receptions for 1,361 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. He had an additional year of eligibility remaining due to a fractured bone in his neck that he suffered during the first game of the 2015 season, but opted for the NFL.
As a sophomore in 2014, Williams racked up a 1,030-yard campaign, putting his 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame on the map as a legitimate NFL threat.
The Chargers are in their first season of having transitioned back to Los Angeles for the first time since 1960. Their season has opened with less than enthusiastic results, opening 0-4 before a win over the New York Giants this past Sunday.
It seems likely that Williams will be ruled out again for the team’s game against the Oakland Raiders, although it appears conceivable he could return for the team’s game on Oct. 22 against the Denver Broncos. He would provide Philip Rivers with an additional pass-catching weapon.