Wide receiver Roydell Williams won’t take part in organized team activities Thursday and Friday when the Tennessee Titans begin their workouts.
Williams suffered a broken right ankle on the indoor practice facility surface in January during the Titans’ week of preparation for the AFC Divisional Playoffs against the San Diego Chargers and underwent surgery to repair the injury, a cracked bone at the base of his tibia, a short time later. Screws and a plate were inserted during surgery to help the healing process.
Since that time, Williams has been rehabbing the injury and will not be available when OTAs start Thursday. Thursday’s practice is closed, but Friday’s session is open to the media. It is not known exactly when Williams will be cleared to take part in off-season work, but when he had the surgery, the Titans said at the time they expected him to be fully recovered in time for the coming season.
Williams, who started 14 of 16 games last season, developed into one of the Titans’ most dependable receivers, tying Justin Gage for the team lead with 55 receptions. He also had 719 receiving yards and four touchdown receptions.
Williams’ absence from the lineup will give offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger the chance to look at more of the remainder of the wide receiver group that also includes veterans Justin McCareins, Brandon Jones, Biren Ealy, Mike Williams, Paul Williams and Chris Davis.
“I think they all get fresh starts with me,” Heimerdinger said. “The good thing for them is I’m new and I don’t care what they’ve done in the past. So everybody at that position gets a fresh start. It’s a matter of who produces and who makes plays.”
NOT IN: Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth won’t be participating in the OTAs either, but for a much different reason.
Haynesworth, who was franchised by the Titans in the off-season, has yet to sign his one-year tender offer and is “continuing to work out on his own,” agent Chad Speck told The City Paper.
Haynesworth was selected as an All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl after last season, in which he was a key cog in the Titans’ No. 5-ranked defense.
The Titans have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal with Haynesworth, who has said he wants to remain in Tennessee. If they do not reach an agreement on an extension by then, he will have to play for the one-year tender offer with no new contract until the end of the 2008 season.