Ditka Says Williams Won't Play
Oct. 01, 1999
NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ New Orleans Saints rookie running back Ricky Williams' hyperextended elbow will keep him out of Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears ``unless there's an unbelievable change,'' coach Mike Ditka said Friday.
Ditka said he made the decision after reading comments Williams made Thursday during his weekly talk with reporters.
``I can do a little bit of everything, but I can't do anything really well,'' Williams said after practice Thursday, saying the brace he wears makes it hard to feel the ball or switch hands.
Williams also noted he had not taken a real hit in practice since being injured Sept. 19 against the San Francisco 49ers.
``If he comes up to me and says, `I can take any hit they give me. I can roll. I can hit. I can do anything.' That's a different story, but he can't do that right now, and maybe it was wishful thinking on my part, and I take the blame for that. I really do,'' Ditka said Friday.
If Williams can't play, Lamar Smith is likely to be the starter at halfback. Williams is the Saints' leading rusher with 120 yards on 32 carries, but Smith has averaged 5.1 yards with 77 yards on 15 carries.
Frequent questions about Williams and other personnel decisions for Sunday's game clearly angered Ditka.
``Why don't we just call Chicago and tell them what the hell we're going to do?'' he asked. ``Just call them on the phone. Tell them, we're not going to do this. Just call them up. I told you after I answered the first thing, let it go. Why do you keep doing this to me? That bugs me. It really bugs me.''