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Broncos defensive back K'Waun Williams is old-time tough

Thanks to club-like protection, Williams has been playing and playing well despite torn ligaments in his right wrist.
Credit: AP
Denver Broncos cornerback K'Waun Williams takes part in drills Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at the NFL football team's headquarters in Centennial, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Old timers will gripe today’s players aren’t as tough as they used to be.

K’Waun Williams is a player today who is old-time tough.

Williams, the Broncos' nickelback, suffered torn ligaments in his right wrist during the season opener at Seattle and has played the past 2 ½ games with a club-like tape and padding around his right hand.

“Was going for a strip and kind of injured it a little bit,’’ the soft-spoken Williams told 9NEWS from his locker Thursday. “Taped it up, finished the game. It’s no big deal right now, been dealing with it the past couple weeks.”

Tackling is difficult as the club pretty much neutralizes all use of his right hand.

“It is. But you’ve got to emphasize wrapping,’’ Williams said. “More so wrapping and making sure you’re being technically sound in your approach.”

Yet, Williams has made 11 tackles in three games while playing 64 percent of Denver’s defensive snaps, the usual playing time for a nickel. He has been an underrated contributor for a Denver defense that ranks No. 2 in the league with a mere 12.0 points per game.

“There’s still room to get better as a unit, as an individual,’’ Williams said. “We can’t be content. Keep striving, keeping cleaning up anything we have to and keep going.”

An 8th-year player, Williams played the previous five years with the San Francisco 49ers, the team the Broncos just beat, 11-10 on Sunday.

“Just a good win,’’ he said. “I don’t look at it any other way. It’s my old team but just a good win for our team to be able to go through a battle like that and come out on top.’’

Through most of the game, Williams was assigned to cover the 49ers’ two best targets, multipurpose receiver Deebo Samuel and tight end George Kittle.

“Been seeing those guys for the past 5 years playing against them in practice,’’ Williams said.

Did his former 49ers teammates notice he was playing with an injured right hand?

“Yeah, the cast is so big it’s hard not,’’ Williams said.

And with that, Williams had to go.

“We club it every day,’’ he said. “I’ve got to go get it clubbed up right now.’’

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