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Cardinals React to Maxx Williams Injury

The entire team flocked to Williams prior to his departure on a cart.

Anybody who has played the game of football will tell you that the sport creates a brotherhood between teammates. 

So when Arizona Cardinals tight end Maxx Williams departed Sunday's 17-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on the final drive of the first half, the Cardinals emptied their side of the field as the entire team went and showed love and gave words of encouragement to Williams before he was driven away in a cart. 

"The severity of it for a guy like Maxx (is disheartening), I mean Maxx has been through hell and back but personally he's a close friend of mine and I know a lot of guys on this team that love and respect him," said defensive end Zach Allen following the game. 

"It's definitely a tough game, it was a hard fought game, but I think definitely the severity of it was you know pretty scary. (I'm) just praying for him, wishing the best for him but knowing him, he'll come back stronger."

Williams' status has yet to be determined for the future, although his departure on a cart with what appeared to be a serious knee injury is typically not a good sign. Prior to Sunday, Williams had been the focal point as a security blanket for quarterback Kyler Murray, accumulating 15 receptions for 179 yards and one touchdown this season. He was injured on a play where he gained 14 yards and battled for extra yardage.

Following Williams' exit, the Cardinals offense stalled. They were unable to convert on a 61-yard field goal as the clock ran down to end the second quarter, while the team only gained 30 yards on their next 20 plays (four drives). 

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Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said, “It’s tough. It’s tough. He’s a huge part of this offense, seeing what he’s done previous weeks when he’s healthy."

When asked if Williams' exit took a toll on the team, Murray said, "You never want to see that happen. That's a brother of yours and the way that unfolded for him is very unfortunate. (He was having a) really good season and then just making a play . . .  football happens, you can't change it, you can't really do anything, I don't know what he could have done differently. It's unfortunate.

"We're all behind him (and) praying for him. But to answer your question, I guess in a sense (it did take a toll). He's in a majority of our plays; he's a big part of our offense."

While Williams will be missed, the unfortunate truth is the show must got on. Football will be played with or without Williams starting at tight end, and the Cardinals are ready to win no matter who's on the field.

"That's the NFL, next man up," said receiver DeAndre Hopkins. "Maxx is definitely a big part of this offense. But that's why (general manager) Steve Keim and those guys go out and get players that can fill that role. I hate what happened to Maxx; Maxx is my guy, but it's the next man up (mentality) and I think Kliff and those guys will do a good job of preparing the next tight end."

While the team likely waits for the injury status of Williams prior to making any moves, players such as Darrell Daniels (when he returns from the COVID list), Demetrius Harris and Ross Travis are ready to fill any and all gaps left by Williams.