Mario Williams is not expected to miss any games after the Buffalo Bills high-priced defensive end had what the team called "a procedure" to relieve discomfort in his injured left wrist.
Coach Chan Gailey provided the update Wednesday, saying he expects Williams to return to practice next week once the Bills return from their bye weekend off. Gailey, was otherwise, very short on specifics in sharing any other details regarding the status of the NFL's highest-paid defensive player.
Gailey wouldn't reveal what the procedure was, where or when it took place — "I think it was yesterday," he said — and even who determined it was necessary.
"I don't know all that," Gailey said in discussing the team's underperforming star who signed a six-year, $100 million US contract in free agency in March. "They told me what happened and said he'd be ready next week. That's all I know."
That might be all that counts for the Bills (3-4), who stumbled into their bye week off having lost three of four. They get a chance to rest, recuperate and regroup before travelling to play at Houston — Williams' former team — on Nov. 4.
A person familiar with Williams had said the player had visited a specialist to determine whether to have surgery. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team has not revealed that information.
Williams missed practice and did not attend team meetings on Wednesday. He hasn't been spotted at the Bills facility since he spoke to reporters following a 35-34 loss to Tennessee on Sunday.
"I really need this bye week," Williams had said. "Just try to get healthy and take care of my body."
He's been bothered by the injury since being hurt in the final week of the preseason. Though Williams has not revealed the exact nature of the injury, he's blamed it on affecting his performance by limiting his ability to use his left hand in shedding blockers.
His production has been spotty at best, and resulted in Williams taking the brunt of criticism for many of the defence's shortcomings this season.
Buffalo's allowed an NFL-worst 1,238 yards rushing — that's 986 yards short of the team's total last season — and that includes giving up a combined 937 yards rushing in its last four games.
The lack of production led defensive end Chris Kelsay to publicly question his teammates for taking plays off a day after the loss to the Titans.
Williams is a two-time Pro Bowl selection, who in six seasons in Houston set the Texans franchise record with 53 career sacks.
In Buffalo, he's second on the team with 3 1/2 sacks. And that's down from last year in Houston, where he had five sacks in five games before landing on the season-ending injured reserve list because of a chest injury.
"I'm hesitant," he had said on Sunday, after being credited with two tackles. "I don't know if it's just me in general, but that's on me and that's fine. I know I have to change that, believe me. I don't need anybody to tell me that. I look at it just like everybody else does."
Williams's injury has proven costly for the Bills. The NFL fined Buffalo $20,000 on Friday, by ruling that Williams should have been on the team's injury report since the start of the season even though he had not missed a practice.
Gailey had first revealed to reporters that Williams had been playing hurt a day after the Bills season-opening 48-28 loss at the New York Jets on Sept. 9.
Williams acknowledged he was hurt two days later by saying, "I had a little freak deal a couple of weeks ago."
Gailey had promising news with other injured players.
Defensive end Mark Anderson was given an outside shot to be ready to play against Houston. Anderson, who was signed by Buffalo a week after Williams, has missed two games since having knee surgery. Though he missed practice, he was spotted walking around the locker room with only a wrap on his left knee.
Starting right guard Kraig Urbik practice fully for the first time since spraining his right ankle three weeks ago. Urbik's return is timely because it comes after his backup, Chad Rinehart, severely hurt his left ankle last weekend.
Gailey was cryptic in saying starting left guard Andy Levitre also had "some extra work done on him," but added he's expected to play next week.