Chargers’ rookie receiver Mike Williams expects to get first snaps of season against the Raiders

Chargers rookie wide receiver Mike Williams missed all of training camp because of a herniated disk in his lower back.
(Gregory Bull / AP)

Mike Williams was “limited” in Friday’s practice and listed as “questionable” on the injury report, but in the mind of the Chargers receiver, he will make his long-awaited NFL debut against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

“I’m just excited to get out there with my teammates for the first time,” said Williams, who has been out since early May because of a herniated disk in his lower back. “It’s gonna be a fun experience.”

Coach Anthony Lynn said the Chargers would probably decide by Friday night whether the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Williams, the seventh overall pick in April’s draft, would play in a game for the first time since Jan. 9, when Williams helped Clemson beat Alabama for the national championship.

“We’ll look at this film and do what’s best for Mike and the team,” Lynn said after Friday’s practice. “Mike hasn’t played since January, so we have to be careful rushing him back into action.”


Williams, who missed all of training camp, participated in his first fully padded practice Thursday.

“He didn’t really get hit, but we made sure he got banged around a little bit,” Lynn said. “I like the way he responded. Mike is a competitor.”

Returning from a serious injury doesn’t faze Williams, who suffered a neck fracture in Clemson’s first game of 2015, missed the rest of the season and caught nine passes for 174 yards in a season-opening win over Auburn in 2016.

“I feel like I’m all healed,” Williams said, “so I just have to go out there and play like I never had a problem with my back.”



The Raiders announced that Sunday’s game will remain at the Oakland Coliseum with a 1:25 p.m. kickoff. There was discussion about moving the game to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara because of unhealthy air conditions caused by the Northern California wildfires. … Raiders quarterback Derek Carr came off the injury report, clearing him to start Sunday against the Chargers. … The Chargers’ Keenan Allen leads the league with 235 yards receiving on third down.

Follow Mike DiGiovanna on Twitter @MikeDiGiovanna