War Eagle Extra

While Auburn WR D'haquille Williams battles injury, support comes from all sides

AUBURN, Ala. — Hours after D'haquille Williams left Auburn's game against Texas A&M on Saturday, the injured wideout received some uplifting words from someone who dealt with similar emotions one week prior.

"Praying for you Big Dawgg #1," Ole Miss receiver Laquon Treadwell tweeted from his personal Twitter account, attaching a photo of Williams heading into the locker room on crutches as part of his message. "(S)tay positive and keep your chin up, better days to come! God has this!"

Not long after, Williams responded with a thank-you of sorts.

"I appreciate it lil bra," he tweeted. "(It's) just a (setback) just what the man above (has) planned #GodSpeed everything (happens) for a reason."

It was an ironic back-and-forth between two fallen receivers.

Treadwell went down in Auburn's road victory at Ole Miss on Nov. 1. It ended in the cruelest of ways for Treadwell. Heading into the end zone for what would have been the go-ahead score with less than two minutes remaining, Treadwell was caught from behind by Auburn linebacker Kris Frost, who knocked the ball away. Fellow Tiger linebacker Cassanova McKinzy jumped on it to seal the 35-31 victory for the visitors.

But Treadwell lost more than the ball when he was taken down by Frost.

He lost the rest of his season.

The way Treadwell was tackled tore his ankle, which he immediately had surgery to repair following the game.

Williams' injury Saturday looked like it could be equally as devastating.

Less than two minutes into the second period, quarterback Nick Marshall looked in Williams' direction at Auburn's 20-yard line. While Williams tried to look the pass into his hands, Texas A&M cornerback De'Vante Harris lurched low to make a tackle. The ball fell away for an incompletion while Williams stayed down on the field for an extended amount of time. That led Auburn's training staff and coach Gus Malzahn to cross the field to come to Williams' side.

Williams eventually made it off the field, leaning on two members of the training staff for support.

After being looked at on the training table by Dr. James Andrews, Williams limped to the locker room on crutches. Later, it was announced he had suffered a right knee injury and was out for the remainder of the game.

In his postgame press conference, Malzahn had little knowledge of Williams' condition.

"He couldn't play (in the second half) and that's about it. He was down on the sideline," the coach said. "I do not have any update at this time.”

During his time on the sideline, multiple teammates went up to Williams to lend their support.

One of them was fellow receiver Quan Bray.

"I told him once I scored (on a fourth quarter touchdown catch) that we were about to win the game," he said. "And that was it. We didn't do that."

Melvin Ray also made sure to stay in touch with Williams throughout the game.

"We kept telling him to keep his head up," the junior receiver said. "He was actually giving us a lot of motivation. We just let him know we have his back and we were going to do everything we can to come out on top. Unfortunately we didn't. But he's a strong guy. He'll be fine."

Bray concurred, saying that in his time talking with Williams, his teammate remained in high spirits.

"He's doing good," Bray said. He's a hard, fighting competitor."

According to multiple sources, the injury may not be as bad as initially feared. On Sunday, AL.com reported "a source close to the situation" revealed Williams had suffered a sprained ligament in his right knee and that an MRI scan showed that the ligament wasn't torn.

The source also said Williams will miss Saturday's game against Georgia.

No one affiliated with Auburn's athletic program has offered an official update on Williams' status since Saturday.

Regardless of when he returns to the field, one teammate was certain Williams won't be gone for long.

"I'm sure he'll come in (Sunday) and get rehab," Bray said. "(He'll) do as much rehab as he can to be back and be back (soon)."