Williams announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.
The 31-year-old was released by the Steelers in March, but he re-signed with the team a month later. Williams spent his entire eight-year career in Pittsburgh since after the Steelers selected him in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. Over 121 career regular-season games, he accumulated 479 total tackles and 20.5 sacks. With Williams out of the picture, Robert Spillane could take on a starting role alongside Devin Bush (knee) at inside linebacker.
The Steelers re-signed Williams on Wednesday, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
Williams will return to Pittsburgh for a ninth consecutive season. He started in all 14 of his appearances with the team in 2020, racking up 70 tackles, three sacks and two fumble recoveries. Assuming Williams enters the 2021 campaign as a starter once again, he'll have limited IDP utility.
The Steelers released Williams on Tuesday, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
Williams played 14 games for the Steelers last season, starting each contest and recording 70 tackles, three sacks and two fumble recoveries. His eight-year stint with the Steelers is now over, but the 31-year-old should have options on the open market. The Steelers will save $4 million in salary-cap space by letting Williams go.
Williams recorded one solo tackle in Sunday's 24-22 loss to the Browns.
Williams was on the field for only 28 defensive snaps in Sunday's regular-season finale since the Steelers had clinched a playoff spot and chose to rest some of their starters. Williams missed two of the final four weeks of the season but still finished the regular season with 69 tackles (47 solo), including three sacks, along with two fumble recoveries over 14 games. The 31-year-old should be healthy heading into the playoffs this year and will likely continue to play a starting role for Pittsburgh in 2021.
Williams was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Williams missed the last two games but will be eligible to play Sunday against the Colts. His return will be a welcome sight for a Steelers defense that has lost both Devin Bush and Robert Spillane to season-ending knee injuries at inside linebacker.
Williams could be activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list for Sunday's game versus the Colts, Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Williams missed the last two games, but coach Mike Tomlin said he's going to start ramping up his activity this week with the goal of him playing Sunday. If he's good to go, Williams should start at inside linebacker because both Devin Bush (torn ACL) and Robert Spillane (knee) are on injured reserve.
The Steelers placed Williams on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday.
Thursday marked the second time this season that Williams was placed on the list, as he either tested positive for the virus or came into close contact with someone who did. Williams will still have a chance to play in Sunday's game against the Bills, but he'll need to test negative twice 24 hours apart. If he's unable to suit up, Avery Williamson would be in line for an increased role.
The Steelers officially activated Williams from the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Williams was activated along with teammates Ben Roethlisberger, Jaylen Samuels and Jerald Hawkins. The veteran linebacker will now be available for Sunday's matchup with the Bengals. He has been on the field for more than 80 percent of the team's defensive snaps across four of the last five games.
Coach Mike Tomlin said Friday that he expects Williams to return from the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.
If Williams is indeed able to return to the active roster Saturday, he should be available for Sunday's game against the Bengals. The veteran linebacker has handled 80-plus percent of defensive snaps in four of Pittsburgh's last five contests.
The Steelers placed Williams on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, Teresa Varley of the team's official site reports.
Williams is considered a high-risk close contact to Vance McDonald, who tested positive for the virus. He'll need to isolate for five days, but if he's able to test negative during that stretch, he'll be available for Sunday's matchup against the Bengals. Avery Williamson is the next man up if Williams is forced to miss any time.
Williams tallied eight tackles (six solo) and two tackles for loss Sunday against the Cowboys.
Williams finished the day with the team lead in tackles as the Steelers remained undefeated with a 24-19 victory. The linebacker has racked up 31 tackles, one sack and a fumble recovery over his last five contests.
Williams recorded 10 tackles (nine solo) including one sack in Sunday's 27-24 win over the Titans.
Williams led the Steelers in tackles Sunday while recording one of the team's two sacks. The 30-year-old has already racked up three sacks through the first six games of the 2020 season, which eclipses his total from 2019.
Williams recorded five tackles (four solo) including a sack in the Steelers' 26-16 Week 1 win over the Giants on Monday.
Williams had just 2.5 sacks last season, but Pittsburgh led the league with 54 sacks. The defense recorded two sacks in a 24-17 loss in their last game against Week 2 opponent Denver.
Williams recorded seven tackles (four solo) in Sunday's 28-10 loss to the Ravens.
The addition of Devin Bush and Mark Barron more of an on-field impact for Williams than any other Pittsburgh linebacker this season. After averaging 742 defensive snaps over the past two seasons, Williams played just 401 snaps. He finished 2019 with 55 tackles, including 2.5 sacks -- a significant decline from the 82 tackles (six sacks) he averaged the two years prior. Williams has two years remaining on his contract, but the Steelers are stacked at linebacker, which could again cut into his snaps in 2020.
Williams had five tackles (one solo), including a half-sack, in Pittsburgh's 17-10 loss to Buffalo on Sunday night.
Although he has just 2.5 sacks this season, this was the second straight game in which Williams had a hand in bringing an opposing quarterback down. Pittsburgh has now registered at least one sack in 55 straight games, the longest streak in regular-season franchise history. Williams led the defense with nine tackles, including a sack, in his last game against the Jets -- the Steelers Week 16 opponent -- back in 2016.
Williams recorded four tackles (two solo) including a sack in Pittsburgh's 23-17 win over Arizona on Sunday.
After playing more than 70 percent of Pittsburgh's defensive snaps in each of the past two seasons, Williams has seen a significant decrease in playing time this year. That has impacted his production, and his second quarter sack of Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray was the first for Williams since Week 5. If he gets the opportunity to be on the field more in Week 15 against the Bills, he has the athleticism to cause havoc for opposing quarterbacks -- he had 12.5 sacks over the previous two seasons.
Williams totaled nine tackles (four solo), including a sack, in Sunday's 26-23 overtime loss to the Ravens.
In his first game action since suffering a hamstring injury Week 2, Williams led the team in tackles while recording his first sack this season. He'll look to add to that total in Week 6 against the Chargers' Philip Rivers, who has been sacked 12 times but just once in the past two games.
Williams (hamstring) is active for Sunday's game against the Ravens, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Williams was listed as questionable despite practicing fully throughout the week, so it's not much of a surprise he's available for the divisional matchup. It will be the 29-year-old's first game action since suffering the injury Week 2.
Williams (hamstring) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game versus the Ravens, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.
Williams was a full participant in every practice this week, but the Steelers are still monitoring his hamstring in case of a setback. His practice status signals Williams will be able to suit up for this divisional matchup even if the Steelers plan to use him in a limited capacity.
Williams (hamstring) was a full participant at Wednesday's practice.
Williams missed the last two contests due to the hamstring injury, but his full participation Wednesday puts him on track for Sunday's game against the Ravens. The 29-year-old played only 22 defensive snaps in the season opener before going down with the injury in Week 2.
|Mon 09/14||@ NYG||W 26-16||4||1||5||1||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 09/20||vs DEN||W 26-21||6||1||7||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 09/27||vs HOU||W 28-21||2||0||2||1||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 10/11||vs PHI||W 38-29||1||1||2||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 10/18||vs CLE||W 38-7||3||3||6||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 10/25||@ TEN||W 27-24||8||2||10||1||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 11/01||@ BAL||W 28-24||2||3||5||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 11/08||@ DAL||W 24-19||6||2||8||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 11/15||vs CIN||W 36-10||1||3||4||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 11/22||@ JAC||W 27-3||4||1||5||0||0||0||0||0|
|Wed 12/02||vs BAL||W 19-14||1||1||2||0||0||0||0||0|
|Mon 12/07||vs WAS||L 17-23||3||4||7||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 12/27||vs IND||W 28-24||5||0||5||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 01/03||@ CLE||L 22-24||1||1||2||0||0||0||0||0|
|Sun 01/10||vs CLE||L 37-48||5||2||7||0||0||0||0||0|
|Career Defensive Stats|
|Career Punt Return Stats|