Former CFL all-star receiver Duke Williams was placed on the Buffalo Bills’ reserve/COVID-19 list and will not be ready for the start of NFL training camp.
The news was first reported by NFL insider Ian Rapoport, alongside a list of other reserve list transactions. The designation means that Williams has either tested positive for coronavirus or has been in close contact with someone who contracted the virus. He will not be able to return to the team without first passing testing protocols.
It’s a massive blow to the 27-year-old pass catcher who was already on the roster bubble in a revamped Bills receiving corps following the blockbuster trade for two-time 1,000-yard star Stefon Diggs.
Williams caught 88 passes during the 2018 CFL season with Edmonton for a league-leading 1,579 yards and 11 touchdowns. That garnered NFL intrigue and he signed with Buffalo in January 2019. At six-foot-three and 225 pounds, he provides a big frame and adds a physical presence to the Bills receiving group.
Last season, Williams suited up inn four games. He finished the regular schedule with 12 catches for 166 yards and one touchdown — a game-winning TD in his NFL debut. He added four catches for 49 yards in Buffalo’s AFC Wild Card playoff loss to the Houston Texans.
CFL fans are well aware of the Duke’s capabilities, but now they just hope he’ll recover and be healthy enough to show them on an NFL field once again.