An MRI revealed that Clemson receiver Mike Williams suffered a small fracture in his neck area Saturday, but doctors are confident that he will recover and that the injury is not career-ending, Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said Sunday.
The Tigers' leading receiver a year ago, Williams ran into the goalpost on a touchdown reception early in the first quarter against Wofford. He was placed on a board and carted off the field.
"He's doing great. He's walking around and has great movement and is going to class [Monday]," Swinney said. "We're really fortunate it wasn't worse. Anytime you have an injury in that area, you're talking about a real serious thing."
Williams is in a neck brace that, aside from causing discomfort at night, doctors are confident should allow Williams to fully heal. He will not need to undergo surgery.
Less than four minutes into the game, Williams leaped to catch a 4-yard touchdown pass near the boundary. As he came down with the football, he was tackled into the left side of the padded goalpost.
Williams was taken to a local hospital, where he was able to stand and had full use of his extremities.
Swinney is unsure when Williams, a junior who caught 57 passes for 1,030 yards last season, might return to the field. Williams will be re-evaluated in six weeks, and the injury could cost him the season.
"The main thing to me is he is OK," Swinney said. "He'll have an opportunity to play again. Whenever that is, I have no idea. We're really fortunate there."
A number of players will be asked to replicate the role of the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Williams. Swinney named senior Charone Peake, redshirt freshman Trevion Thompson and true freshman Deon Cain as receivers who will see snaps at Williams' position. The Tigers also have sophomore Artavis Scott, who led the team with 76 catches as a freshman.
"It's hard to replace a guy like Mike. He's not only a good player, but he understands all of the nuances of not just the position but of the offense," Swinney said. "We can replace the talent, but it does hurt when you lose an experienced guy like Mike."