Green Bay, Wis. • Green Bay running back Jamaal Williams was taken off the field on a stretcher Thursday night, after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Philadelphia defensive end Derek Barnett on the first offensive play of the game for the Packers.
Williams, a former BYU standout, caught a short pass from Aaron Rodgers before being stood up by a swarm of Eagles defenders, and Barnett barreled in at the end. After his helmet banged against Williams’ helmet, Barnett was penalized for unnecessary roughness. Williams lay motionless on the field for several minutes while being tended to by a host of medical personnel. He raised his arm to flash the thumbs-up signal as he was being rolled away, and Barnett was the first player to approach him with a pat of encouragement.
Williams had feeling and movement in all of his extremities, the Packers announced, but he was ruled out for the remainder of the game while being evaluated for head and neck injuries.
Green Bay coach Matt Lafleur said he didn’t have further details on Williams’ injury after the game, according to an ESPN report.
Williams finished his BYU career as the school’s leader in rushing attempts (726) and rushing yards (3,901). He also set the Cougars’ single-game record with 286 yards rushing and tied the school mark with five touchdowns in a game. He was chosen by the packers in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL draft.
The Packers went on to score on a short touchdown run by Aaron Jones, who was the only healthy tailback left after Williams’ departure.
Green Bay led 10-0 before the Eagles rallied for a 34-27 victory, picking off Rodgers’ pass in the end zone with 20 seconds left to secure the win.
Williams turned out to be the first of a plethora of injuries on the night for both teams. Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox was carted off the field on a stretcher late in the fourth quarter.
"He has movement in all of his extremities and he’s being checked for precautionary reasons right now,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said of Maddox.
The Salt Lake Tribune contributed to this report.