A torn ACL kept former Kentucky linebacker Avery Williamson out for the entire 2019 NFL season, but now, the veteran standout is ready to return to action.
In an interview with Hey Kentucky’s Jennifer Palumbo, the New York Jets linebacker said he’s back to “100%” following his season-ending injury suffered back in August of 2019.
“I’m definitely doing really good right now. I’m running, jumping, doing everything right now,” Williamson said. “The biggest thing right now is just getting back out there on the field and practicing, getting back in the groove of playing football again. I definitely feel like I’m 100%, ready to go, and just excited.
“Missing last year was very tough. I’ve only missed one game in my entire career, my second year as a Titan. Not used to missing a season, so I’m anxious to get back out there.”
Now, the next step for Williamson is to physically get back on the practice field, with NFL training camp scheduled to begin this week.
After receiving two negative COVID-19 tests, Williamson, along with the rest of the NFL, will be allowed to begin practice.
“I’m just waiting in my apartment right now, waiting to see when they’ll let us in the building to get tested,” said Williamson. “They’re going to test us twice before we can even start. We were supposed to get tested today, but they pushed it back, so right now we’re just waiting to see when the NFL will allow us to get tested so we can get in the building. It’s been a slow and weird process.”
Amid the NFL and NFLPA discussions to reach an agreement on COVID-19 adjustments to the collective bargaining agreement last week, a plethora of NFL stars and veterans – Williamson included – stressed their concerns with the league’s focus on health and safety on their social media pages.
“We want to have an NFL season, but also have the proper protocols to keep players safe,” Williamson said. “That’s all we ask for. #WeWantToPlay”
— Avery Williamson (@AWilliamson54) July 19, 2020
And then on Friday, the NFL and NFLPA came together to reach an agreement, one that both sides were optimistic would protect players during the 2020 season.
“We’ve been having calls over the last few months about the situation with COVID, the procedures that might have to be put in place,” Williamson told Palumbo of Hey Kentucky. “We do want to play, it’s what we love to do. It’s our job. As players, we want to take a stand and show that we want to play, but we also want safety.
“We want to be protected while we’re out there. We want to make sure we’re safe and people with families aren’t bringing it back to their loved ones.”
While Williamson’s current focus is on the upcoming NFL season and his return to action, the former Wildcat also noted that he’s excited to see Mark Stoops and the Kentucky football team make their way back to Kroger Field and “make a jump” this year.
“I’m excited. The Cats, they’ve been impressing me the last few years. Definitely excited to see what they’ve got in store,” Williamson said. “I’ve heard they have some good recruits coming in. I feel like they have a lot of depth now, and that’s something that’s very good. They’ve got young guys that are going to step up to the plate. I’m excited, I definitely feel like they’re going to make a jump this year. Hoping for a college season, because I love bragging about Kentucky.”
For Williamson’s complete interview, check out the video below: