Chargers’ wide receiver Mike Williams suffered a right high-ankle sprain and is expected to miss multiple weeks.
The injury occurred on a fourth down in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 37-23 home loss to the Seahawks. Williams caught a pass from quarterback Justin Herbert near the first down marker and tried to turn upfield. He planted his foot as Seattle cornerback Michael Jackson dragged him down. The weight of Jackson’s body landed on Williams’ right ankle as he pulled Williams’ hips down and rolled him over his own body.
The result was Williams’ ankle getting caught and pinned under Jackson while the rest of his body rolled in the opposite direction. He was helped off the field and onto a medical cart on the sideline, where he was then taken to the locker room.
Williams underwent an MRI early Monday morning that revealed he had a high ankle sprain. The difference between high ankle sprains and low ankle sprains is more than just location. Low ankle sprains are the more common sprain, where the ankle “rolls,” causing damage to the anterior talofibular ligament, posterior talofibular ligament, and/or the calcaneofibular ligament. On the other hand, high ankle sprains involve damage to the syndesmotic ligaments as a result of twisting, or over rotation.
The syndesmotic ligaments hold together the tibia and fibula above the ankle joint complex, and because of their significance in how the rest of the lower leg functions, they often require more attention when damaged. They also receive a much lower blood supply than the ligaments involved in low ankle sprains, which elongates the recovery time. Severe high ankle sprains can require a non-weight bearing walker boot or cast for multiple weeks, and rehab itself can last months.
Our algorithm predicts this to be a Grade 2 sprain, which indicates there is some tearing present. With that, we’ve calculated his Injury Risk to be High (37%) and his Health Performance Factor to be Below Average (40%). These numbers factor into an Optimal Recovery Time of 28 days for Williams.
The Chargers’ bye week is in Week 8, meaning Williams will be able to get at least one week of rest without missing in-game action.