Damien Williams admitted that it will be difficult for him to watch football in 2020.
There’s no doubt that Damien Williams made the correct decision in the face of very, very difficult circumstances when he decided to officially opt out of the 2020 NFL season. Still it doesn’t make it easy to live it out even if he knows he did the right thing.
The Kansas City Chiefs running back spoke with CNN’s host Anderson Cooper recently in an interview about NFL players opting out of the upcoming season due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Williams was the second of three players to opt out, a list that began with offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (who was the NFL’s first player to opt out) and rookie lineman Lucas Niang (who was the Chiefs third round pick out of Texas Christian).
Williams explains his reasoning for sitting out the 2020 season, which was due to his mother receiving a tragic late-stage cancer diagnosis. Williams wants to obviously invest as much time at home as possible in light of the news. The entire interview is worth watching above, but Williams did note that this season would be tough to miss.
“It most definitely will be [painful]. At the end of the day, I just feel like it’s just something I had to do. It’s something I’ve prepared for,” he said. “It’s something I’m ready for. It’s gonna be hard to watch but I’m cheering at home, guys … I think I’ve had to miss out on football one time and that was in high school, and that’s because we had to transfer schools and I had to sit out a year. But that was 12 or 13 years ago.”
Williams has been a postseason hero for the Chiefs in each of the last two seasons, including the 2019 championship run. He had 10 touchdowns in 5 postseason appearances and was set to compete with Clyde Edwards-Helaire for the majority of reps as the team’s featured back in their attempt to run it back.
Given his decision to opt out, Williams will be able to return next season on his 2020 salary with the Chiefs and compete once again. He will be 29-years-old next spring.