Mario Williams described his departure from the Houston Texans as a “one-way door that was opened” in speaking with Buffalo reporters Wednesday about returning to face the team he spent the first six seasons of his career with.
“Everybody looks at it as you just up and leave,” Williams said, making it a point to straighten out what he views as misconceptions about his departure. “But you don’t know the fact of basically being told, ‘We’re not giving you anything as far as an offer or anything like that.’ So your hands are tied in that aspect. Everybody else looks at it like you just went in free agency and left. Obviously, there was plenty of time for things done that wasn’t done.
“I just wish everybody else that runs their mouth, says this and that knew the whole story about it before making a decision about me just abandoning the fans, the team and everything else like that because that’s not my role. I’m not that type of guy.”
Williams was asked if he would have preferred to stay with Houston.
“It’s almost like saying you don’t know what’s happening after the fact,” he said.
“Fans that saw me said, ‘Don’t leave.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to leave.’ That’s just how it is. Nothing against if I’m here or anywhere else. This is even prior to [free agency]. I never said I wanted out.”
Williams wasn’t done at that point.
“I’m sure everybody’s going to twist it up and say, ‘Oh, well, he didn’t want to come here,’ so on and so forth. That’s not what I said. Like I said, I never asked [to leave Houston]. I was basically given a door in a quiet manner. I had no other choice.”
Williams described himself as “grateful” and “ecstatic” to be with the Bills, who made him the league’s richest defensive player with a six-year deal worth as much as $100 million.
Williams has been happy to see the success his former team has had without him. The Texans lead the AFC with a 6-1 record.
“I have mad love for them, for each and every player on that team and for each and every coach on that team,” he said. “There’s no type of bad luck or wishing that on them at all. I hope they do the very best. ... These are your brothers that you play with for a long time.”
That being said, Williams is still hoping to get a shot in on Texans quarterback Matt Schaub.
“You get a chance to hit Matt, I’m definitely going to. It’s going down for sure,” he joked.
Williams practiced fully just eight days after having left wrist surgery. He again expressed optimism the procedure will allow him to be more effective on the field.
“It feels great. I worked out, finally, for the first time Monday and Tuesday, something I haven’t done in a while. I’m really excited,” he said.
The Bills’ and Texans’ combined injury report is a long read. Each team listed 15 players after Wednesday’s practice.
From the Buffalo side, defensive end Mark Anderson (knee) and guard Chad Rinehart (ankle) did not practice. Rinehart is out and it’s doubtful Anderson will play Sunday. Offensive tackle Cordy Glenn (ankle), cornerback Terrence McGee (knee), defensive tackle Kyle Williams (ankle) and offensive tackle Erik Pears (hip) were limited participants. Pears made his first appearance on the injury report all season.
Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (shoulder), wide receiver Brad Smith (chest), running back C.J. Spiller (shoulder), guard Kraig Urbik (ankle), wide receiver Donald Jones (low back), guard Andy Levitre (knee), center Eric Wood (knee) and defensive end Chris Kelsay (ankle) were all full participants, along with Mario Williams.
On the Houston side, nose tackle Shaun Cody (back), receiver Andre Johnson (non-injury related), running back Ben Tate (hamstring) and guard Cody White (illness) did not practice. Linebacker Bryan Braman (neck), cornerback Johnathan Joseph (groin), nose tackle Earl Mitchell (ankle), linebacker Jesse Nading (foot/neck), defensive end Antonio Smith (ankle) and strong safety Quintin Demps (thumb/forearm) were limited participants. Wide receiver Lester Jean (knee), guard Ben Jones (illness), free safety Shiloh Keh (back), left guard Wade Smith (knee) and quarterback T.J. Yates (right elbow) were full participants.
Johnson missed practice for personal reasons, according to Houston coach Gary Kubiak, but is expected to return today.