Payton: PJ Williams concussion 'very severe'

METAIRIE — New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton called the decision to place cornerback P.J. Williams on injured reserve an “easy one” after  Williams suffered what Payton characterized as one of the most severe concussions he’s ever seen, during the first quarter of Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants.  

After sustaining a vicious blow to head, Williams lay motionless on the field for several minutes while the medical staff attended to him.

“A good portion of while he was on the field the medical people got there and they just wanted to make sure he was breathing properly,” Payton said via conference call Thursday morning.

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Williams was eventually carted off the field and taken to a local hospital, where doctors diagnosed his concussion and ruled out any spinal injury.

“When they scanned this concussion, they’re able to measure to some degree the type of trauma (he) had, and it was significant,” Payton said.  “You could tell on the field it was significant.”

Doctors expect Williams to make a full recovery, Payton said.

And while the coach didn’t want to speak for his player, Payton did say, “I’m sure there’s disappointment to some degree because of the type of recovery, just having gotten into position where he’s competing, playing, starting, and yet from an encouraging standpoint none of this will carry over and limit him in any way in the future.

“I think more than anything else (over the last few days) it’s been rest and recovery, just getting back into the routine here.”

Payton added, he saw Williams at the facility on Wednesday having breakfast with his teammates, and said the second-year cornerback is doing his best to resume a normal routine.

The Saints filled Williams roster spots by resigning tackle Tony Hills on Wednesday. Hills played eight games for New Orleans in 2015 and was with the team throughout training camp before being released when it trimmed its roster to 53. 

Hills adds much-needed depth on the offensive line after right tackle Zach Strief left Sunday’s game with a chest injury. In Strief’s absence, the Saints turned to Senio Kelemete. 
 
Payton was tight-lipped today about Strief’s status for Monday’s game against Atlanta, saying only that Strief is "all good.” 

(© 2016 WWL)


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