REPORT: Former Buccaneers Wide Receiver Mike Williams Dies From Injuries In Construction Accident

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Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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Editor’s note: This article has been updated with new information surrounding Williams’ death. This article originally reported Williams died Sept. 6, citing a report from The Tampa Bay Times and a statement from Spectrum News Buffalo; however, Williams’ agent confirmed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Williams died the morning of Sept. 12. 

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams has reportedly died at the age of 36 after suffering a construction-related accident Sept. 1.

Williams’ agent, Hadley Engelhard, told ESPN the ex-NFL player passed away Sept. 12. A television station in Buffalo, New York, initially said Williams died Sept. 5, The Tampa Bay Times reported that day. A tweet from Spectrum News Buffalo’s Jon Scott, citing anonymous sources, said Williams “passed away following injuries suffered during an accident while working at a construction site.”

The Times then reported Saturday that Williams had been taken off life support and was breathing on his own at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa.

Williams’ father, Wendell, explained the nature of the construction accident on a GoFundMe page organized by Latrina Moore. “Mike Williams recently had a major accident at work. A steal [sic] beam fell on his head causing a massive head injury,” Wendell wrote Sept. 4, ahead of reports of Williams’ passing.

Williams was the fourth-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2010 and an NFL Pepsi Rookie of the Year Finalist. He played a total of four seasons with the Buccaneers — from 2010 to 2014 — before playing for his hometown Buffalo Bills. Williams also played with the Kansas City Chiefs for the offseason in 2016.

Wendell noted his son’s medical struggles after the construction incident.

“As a result of this accident, there was swelling on [Williams’] brain and swelling on his spinal cord that was ruptured,” Wendell wrote to the GoFundMe page. “These injuries resulted in complete paralysis in his right arm as well as his lower body from the waist down.”

Wendell went on to explain the series of events that transpired after the accident.

“On Friday, Sept 1, 2023 around 9pm Mike Williams passed out. According to doctors, he suffered from severe breathing problems and had to be rushed to ICU,” Wendell continued. “[T]he doctors found that his diaphragm was pressing on his lungs and subsequently caused complications with his breathing. They reported that his lungs were filled with water.”

“The doctors were able to free the diaphragm from pressing on his lungs, removing the water and allowing him to breathe a little better. Sadly, my son Mike Williams never gained consciousness,” Wendell wrote Sept. 4. (RELATED: REPORT: Tampa Bay Buccaneers To Fire Offensive Coordinator Byron Leftwich)

The GoFundMe page has raised $1,828 of the $20,000 goal at the time of writing.