Less than 10 minutes remained in regulation in a critical Week 17 showdown between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings when the Packers appeared to hold the Vikings on a short third-and-goal completion to Toby Gerhart that was stuffed near the 5-yard line.
Near the right sideline, though, Packers cornerback Tramon Williams jabbed Jerome Simpson in the facemask away from the play, drawing a penalty for illegal use of the hands. The Vikings took the lead on a Michael Jenkins touchdown three plays later and went on to win 37-34 on a last-second field goal. The loss cost the Packers a first-round bye in the NFC Playoffs.
Earlier this week, Williams told 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore, that he hasn't completely healed from an injury in the 2011 season opener vs. the Saints that caused nerve damage in his shoulder. While Williams didn't a miss game in 2012, the injury prevented him from frequently applying press coverage -- a staple of the Packers' defense.
“It was kind of hard to sit back, because when you're off you're kind of giving away some throws,” Williams said. “You don't want to give up anything. You have to compensate your game for the injury, but like I said, I got through it and just continue to progress.”
Williams, a six-year veteran, still had a fairly successful season in spite of the injury. When opposing quarterbacks targeted Williams, the one-time Pro Bowl cornerback allowed a catch rate of 53.5 percent according to Pro Football Focus. Among cornerbacks who appeared in at least 75 percent of their team's snaps, Williams ranked eighth in the league. Williams, though, was one of only 11 cornerbacks who were targeted at least 100 times on the season.
In 2010, Williams' lone Pro Bowl season, he ranked third among cornerbacks in pass coverage efficiency by Pro Football Focus. Last season, he finished 22nd among all cornerbacks in the category.
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