Leonard Williams battled through triceps injury in Giants’ loss



Leonard Williams did not have to play. He knows many others in his situation would have sat out, and no one would have thought anything of it. 

He was forced out of last week’s game against the Chargers in Los Angeles with a triceps injury. The Giants were 4-9 and headed nowhere. Williams is an established veteran and does not need to prove anything to anyone. Why force it and have to deal with the pain and a bulky brace on his right elbow? 

It was a legitimate question. 

“I agree,’’ Williams said Sunday after starting at defensive tackle in the Giants’ 21-6 loss to the Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. “I think a lot of players would probably sit out if they had the same thing. People’s agents are probably telling them to sit out, coaches are probably not going to question you if you sit out.’’ 

So, why play? 

“I’m doing this more for myself than anything, more for my teammates, as well,’’ Williams said. “I think me and my defensive line have a really tight group and I don’t want to leave them hanging out there. I’m really doing it for them and for myself, as well.’’ 

Leonard Williams fought through a triceps injury during the Giants' 21-6 loss to the Cowboys.
Leonard Williams fought through a triceps injury during the Giants’ 21-6 loss to the Cowboys.

Williams did what he always does. This was his 109th game and he has never missed a game in his seven-year NFL career. 

“I’ll tell you what, Leo really pushed through a lot,’’ coach Joe Judge said. “Leo was hurting a lot this week and there were a lot of things he was limited in during practice. Our biggest question with him was can he go out there and protect himself, defend himself and play effectively. We knew it would be some pain, some limitations. He knew that himself.’’ 

Williams finished with three tackles and one quarterback hit. No one can ever accuse him of taking it easy after signing a three-year contract worth $63 million. 

“I just take a lot of pride in being a durable player and being out there with my teammates knowing that they can count on me to be there,’’ Williams said. 

Something happened to Saquon Barkley in this game that has never happened to him in his NFL career: He lost the ball on a fumble. It happened late in the second quarter when, on a 1-yard run, he got the ball punched out of his grasp by DeMarcus Lawrence, with Carlos Watkins making the recovery for the Cowboys. 

Saquon Barkley’s fumble against the Cowboys was the first of his career.
Robert Sabo

“I’ve got to be better myself,’’ Barkley said. “Two-minute, having a fumble. Can’t have that happen. That’s unacceptable. You can’t have that happen at all.’’ 

The end-of-first-half hijinks continued for the Giants. They came into the game having been outscored by a ridiculous 59-0 in the last two minutes of the first half. They came out of this game with that comically one-sided margin at 65-0 after two Greg Zuerlein field goals in the last 1:39 of the half, the second coming after Barkley’s turnover. 

LB Lorenzo Carter had two sacks — the first two of the season — and three quarterback hits. … RB/special teamer Gary Brightwell left in the second quarter with a neck injury. … Cowboys LB Micah Parsons came in as the runaway favorite to win the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award, but he was not much of a factor in this game: One assisted tackle and one pass defensed. 


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