Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams, who stormed onto the scene with one of the best rookie seasons in franchise history, died following a construction accident, a Buffalo TV station reported Tuesday night.
Williams was 36 years old.
According to Spectrum News 1, Williams died after sustaining injuries while working at a construction site.
A GoFundMe site claiming to be set up by Williams' father after the accident but before his son's death stated that a steel beam fell on the younger Williams' head, leaving him paralyzed in his right arm and from the waist down.
The page went on to say that Williams passed out on Friday due to breathing difficulties and never regained consciousness. There was no additional information on the nature or location of the accident, nor when exactly the accident took place.
Williams was a Buffalo native and played collegiately at nearby Syracuse.
After catching 133 passes for 2,044 yards and 20 touchdowns over three seasons with the Orange, Williams went to the Buccaneers in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He was an immediate hit with the club, grabbing 65 balls for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns as a rookie and finishing second in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting.
His touchdown-reception total set the single-season club mark at the time.
Williams would match the catch total in his second season and fall 4 yards short of 1,000 in his third season in 2012, leading to a six-year, $40.25 million contract from the Buccaneers. However, a hamstring injury limited him to six games his fourth season, after which he was traded to his hometown Bills.
Williams played in nine games for Buffalo in 2014, catching eight passes for 142 yards a touchdown before being placed on injured reserve. He never played in the NFL after that.
Williams finished his career with 223 catches for 3,089 yards and 26 touchdowns in 63 games (52 starts).
—Field Level Media