When a rookie makes news in training camp, the results aren't always favorable.
Such was the case Aug. 4, when offensive lineman Zack Williams, who starred at both Pasadena High and Glendale Community College, was mentioned frequently because of a devastating injury.
The Carolina Panthers' just-signed rookie ripped up his left knee during practice and will likely sit out his first year.
"Unfortunately, Zack tore his ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] and is out for the season," Panthers' Director of Communications Charlie Dayton confirmed in an email. "I am not aware of any second opinions and expect he will undergo surgery in the near future."
Williams' agent, Jim Grogan, acknowledged the injury took place during a standard drill.
"He was engaged with a linebacker, I'm not sure who exactly, and his knee buckled," Grogan said. "It buckled when he was slanting."
Grogan said Williams underwent a MRI on Friday when the extent of the injury was revealed.
Since then, the pair have attempted to schedule surgery, which Grogan hoped would happen sometime this week.
"We'd like to get it done as soon as possible so that Zack can recover as soon as possible," Grogan said. "We're still in the process of setting something up."
Williams' future is now as uncertain as it seemed bright just a couple of weeks ago.
The 6-foot-3, 309-pounder was selected out of Washington State by the Panthers in the sixth round with the 203rd overall pick.
The 21-year-old Williams, however, endured an NFL lockout that did not end until July 26.
Williams eventually signed a four-year deal for the league minimum on July 29, according to Grogan, who also noted Williams did not want to officially comment until after surgery.
"This is a trying time for Zack and you can imagine how difficult this must be for him," Grogan said.
As of Tuesday, the Panthers had not taken any definitive action.
"He is still technically on the roster," Dayton noted, "but will probably go [on the] injured reserve [list] and be out for the season."
Williams is the first Washington State football player to be drafted since 2009 after two seasons in which he lettered.
In his senior season, Williams won the Mike Utley award, given out annually to the Cougars' top offensive lineman.
The setback was the second devastating blow for Carolina that evening, as veteran free agent defensive lineman Ron Edwards also went down during the same practice with a torn triceps in his right arm and is out indefinitely.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times