TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams has died just days after he was removed from life support after sustaining injuries during a workplace accident in August, his agent, Hadley Engelhard, confirmed to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
He was 36.
Williams’ family members told affiliate station WIVB that he died just before 9 a.m. Tuesday in Tampa. He had been hospitalized since earlier this month and was taken off a ventilator on Sept. 7. At the time, Williams was able to breathe on his own but was said to be unresponsive.
Williams is survived by his son, Mike Jr., 10, and daughter, Mya, 8. He had been accompanied by family in the hospital, including his mother Mary Rosenthal and brother Eric Baylor, WIVB reported.
The Buffalo native played college football at Syracuse and was selected by the Buccaneers in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
According to the NFL, over his five seasons in the league, Williams played in 63 career games. He spent his first four seasons with Tampa Bay before playing his final year for his hometown Bills. Throughout his career, Williams totaled 223 receptions for 3,089 yards and 26 touchdowns.
In 2010, the WR had a breakout rookie season with the Bucs, setting a franchise record with 11 touchdown receptions and posting 964 yards. This feat made him a finalist for the NFL Pepsi Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Reports that Williams had died circulated in local and national outlets earlier this week. However, friends of Williams and his family to WIVB that those reports were not true.
According to WIVB, the on-the-job accident Williams was involved in was not immediately thought to be life-threatening. His mother told the local station that he “was doing electrical work when someone above him dropped a steel beam that struck Williams in the head.” Williams thought he only had a headache after the incident, but his symptoms worsened that week.
WIVB added that his mother said the former Bucs star didn’t go to the hospital at first because he thought he only had a concussion. He was later admitted after he began to lose feelings in his legs. The outlet said he also developed a staph infection, which contributed to the situation. Rosenthal also told WIVB he underwent surgery on his spinal cord while he was hospitalized.