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WR Williams suffers neck injury


The Texans' thoughts and prayers are with wide receiver Harry Williams.

IRVING, Texas - Texans wide receiver Harry Williams injured his neck in the first quarter of Friday's preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium. The Texans' medical staff attended to Williams immediately and stabilized him on a stretcher. He was carted off the field and into an awaiting ambulance and was taken to Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

Texans team orthopedist Dr. Walter Lowe said that Williams was paralyzed on the field but started to regain neurologic function on his way to the hospital.

"From the minute he got in the ambulance, his neurologic function started to return, and that neurologic function, that means he can feel in his hands, feel in his feet, move his hands, move his feet, has returned to almost normal," Lowe said. "Not quite normal yet, but almost normal."

{QUOTE}Although Williams can move his arms and legs, he suffered a fracture of the C3 vertebra and will have to undergo surgery this weekend. Williams will remain in Dallas for the procedure, which will be performed by Dr. Drew Dossett, a member of the Cowboys' medical staff.

"The prognosis is very good for Harry to return to normal neurologic function on that, but it will require fusion of the spine before he can move forward from this," Lowe said.

On the play that Williams was injured, he was covering a kickoff and dove to tackle wide receiver Isaiah Stanback. Safety Nick Ferguson also attempted to make a tackle, but slipped and fell directly into Williams' helmet.

The Texans' sideline watched as Williams received medical attention without moving his limbs. It took a few minutes after play resumed for the Texans to get their heads back in the game.

"I think when we recovered is when we started hearing rumors that he was moving and that he was OK," defensive end N.D. Kalu said. "Because as much as we wanted to win this game, everybody loves Harry, loves his work ethic, (he's) just a good person. And it puts everything in perspective when one of your guys is down and you're looking for his feet to move, his hands to move. It was eerily similar to when Cedric Killings went down last year. It's hard to get up after one of your teammates goes down and you don't know what's wrong with him."

Head coach Gary Kubiak said last week that Williams had been the Texans' best special teams player this preseason. Kubiak was able to talk to Williams as he was taken off the field.

"He's been earning his way on this team as a special teams player, and we had a fast start as a football team," Kubiak said. "We had a nice return. Kris (Brown) makes a nice field goal, and then all of a sudden you're sitting and one of your buddies is down, so that's hard to overcome. But I did talk to Harry on the field, and he told me, 'Y'all win the game for me.' Unfortunately, we weren't able to do that, but I think Harry's going to be OK."

As Kalu alluded to, this is the second serious neck injury that a Texans player has suffered in the past year. Last season, Killings, a defensive tackle, fractured his vertebra against the Indianapolis Colts in a head-to-head collision. Fortunately, Killings eventually regained his movement.

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