Williams the Mystery Man at Wide Receiver

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Preston Williams is hoping to rebound after two injury-shortened seasons
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Preston Williams resurfaced on social media this week, with the Miami Dolphins wide receiver promoting his football camp in Hampton, Georgia, on July 17.

Before that, though, it had been quiet for several months.

It's kind of been like that in the offseason program also.

The South Florida media was invited Friday to watch an OTA for the third time this offseason and there again was very little to see when it comes to Williams.

Williams has been spotted in those OTAs open to the media, but he just hasn't done much in terms of practicing.

It's not as though those have been full-speed practices; on the contrary, half-speed walk-throughs would be a more accurate description. But Williams hasn't taken part in those exercises regardless, outside of a brief appearance in the first open OTA.

So what gives?

Williams' status has been shrouded in mystery ever since he sustained an injury while scoring a touchdown on a pass from Tua Tagovailoa last November in the wild 34-31 victory at Arizona.

Williams eventually was placed on injured reserve, but that provided no clue as to the extent of the injury because of the new rules allowing players to come back after missing three games.

When asked about Williams, Flores' answer always was some variation of Williams working hard to try to make his way back into the lineup.

But the fact that Williams never did make it back to the lineup in 2020 and missed the final eight games clearly proved — if it hadn't already been obvious — that the injury was serious.

And now we can't help but wonder whether Williams is still working his way back from that injury or perhaps is dealing with another, unrelated physical issue.

The Dolphins have one week left in the offseason program, and it involves the mandatory three-day minicamp next week.

Training camp then is set to begun in the final days of July, and it sure would be nice to know that Williams will be fully healthy for that.

With all the focus on newcomers Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller V, the return of 2020 opt-outs Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns, and the always-polarizing DeVante Parker, it's easy to forget about Williams and what he can do for the offense.

But let's not forget that it was Williams who was the team's best wide receiver in the first half of 2019 before he tore an ACL and let's also not forget that Williams' injury came when he scored his third touchdown in a four-game span last year.

Because of his size and his ability to make contested catches, Williams brings the same kind of element to the offense that Parker can provide and he brings the added bonus of costing only $850,000 in 2021.

At this point, though, Williams is on the back burner not only because he missed the last eight games of each of his first two seasons but because we just haven't seen much of him this spring.