Williams says he's not ready to play
Williams, placed on injured reserve after he was hurt, was cleared to play by two doctors and released by Oakland on Tuesday. Yet his agent, Lee Kolligian, said Williams isn't close to being ready to compete again and plans to seek an injury grievance with the NFL.
"At this point, it's hard to believe a guy with a sensitive eye and a broken orbital bone would be cleared to play," Kolligian said Wednesday. "He's still experiencing problems and couldn't take an NFL hit. Marcus doesn't feel ready to play."
Williams likely will be examined by a "neutral" NFL physician to better determine his health, Kolligian said.
If that doctor believes Williams is fit to play again, Williams would become a free agent, Kolligian said. Otherwise, an arbiter would determine how much the Raiders owe Williams in an injury settlement.
Raiders coach Bill Callahan said Wednesday the team chose to cut Williams once he was cleared to play, which Kolligian considered standard NFL procedure once a team receives a medical report that a player is healthy again. That way, a player on injured reserve could still play with another team.
"The Raiders have got to do what they're supposed to do under the rules they live by," Kolligian said. "They have to abide by the NFL rules. I can't fault them. We have a difference of opinion on whether he's fit to play football. Marcus' eye is still tender and he is experiencing impaired vision."
Romanowski instigated the fight Aug. 24 when he ripped off Williams' helmet and punched him in the face, breaking a bone around his left eye. The fracture put Williams on injured reserve -- ending his season before it began.
No criminal charges were filed. The 37-year-old Romanowski, known for fanatical behavior during 16 seasons in the NFL, apologized publicly several days later. He is now on injured reserve after a series of concussions.
Williams wasn't satisfied with Romanowski's apology. He filed a lawsuit against Romanowski in Alameda County Court on Oct. 16 seeking unspecified damages for alleged battery, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press
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