Kasen Williams’ long, unlikely road from a broken leg, displaced foot, altered Washington Huskies career and being undrafted has paid off. He’s now fully in the NFL.
On Saturday Seattle signed the former national high school player of the year in the Seattle suburb of Sammamish from its practice squad onto the 53-man roster for Sunday’s game against St. Louis at CenturyLink Field. Williams joins former UW teammates Jermaine Kearse and Kevin Smith as going from undrafted free agents into the Seahawks’ lineup of wide receivers.
Seattle lost Ricardo Lockette to season-ending neck surgery in early November and had only four wide receivers on the roster before it promoted Williams.
In October 2013 while with the Huskies broke the fibula in his lower leg. He also sustained a ligament and bone displacement in his foot. He needed surgeries to set the leg and insert pins in his foot. His junior season at UW was ruined, so was much of his senior year and, thus, his shot of an NFL team drafting him.
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Cincinnati signed him in May as an undrafted free agent, but its doctors got scared off by the pins in his foot. The Bengals failed him in a physical. Williams was a free agent again, but only for a few days. Seahawks doctors knew the surgeon who’d operated on Williams’ foot; he advised them not to worry about the pins. And Seattle’s coach Pete Carroll had recruited Williams when he was at USC a half-dozen years ago. Carroll signed him to the Seahawks on a minimum-cost, free-agent flyer on the chance Williams’ leg strength, confidence and physical dominance would return all at once.
Now he’s poised to make his NFL debut Sunday against the Rams.
Looking back, Williams said the altering injuries "happened for a reason."
"It brought my hunger back and my motivation back," he told me in August. "It gave me back my love for the game of football.
"I’d played very well for my whole life up to that point. I was coasting."
To make room on the roster, the Seahawks put oft-injured, reserve tight end Anthony McCoy on injured reserve.