Duke Williams shines with practice squad as roster preps for Jets

Local Sports

He’s not even on the Bills roster and he still turns heads.

Duke Williams dazzled during 1-on-1 drills Wednesday morning as the Bills prepared for Sunday’s season opener against the Jets.

Twice he went up and snagged the ball for a catch in the endzone, drawing cheers from coaches Sean McDermott and Brian Daboll. The first time against Kevin Johnson, the second against Levi Wallace.

“It’s always fun to go against top corners,” said Williams after practice. “You win some, you lose some. Today, we were just having fun and getting better.”

Williams is coming off a strong offseason with the Bills, but still finished without a spot on the roster. The team put him on their practice squad after going unclaimed on waivers by the NFL’s other 31 teams.

“The Bills stuck with me, so I’m going to give it everything I got,” said Williams. “I owe them that loyalty so I’m going to continue to work, continue to grind, and like I said, whenever my number is called, I’ll make sure I stand out in the game.”

Williams route to the NFL is far from typical. He was kicked off the Auburn football team in 2015 for reportedly getting in a bar fight. After a short offseason stint with the LA Rams in 2016, Williams played in the Canadian Football League. He finished the 2018 season with a league-leading 1,579 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns before signing with the Bills in January 2019.

“It’s a grind. You have your ups and downs, but I try to stay neutral. Try to stay grounded,” said Williams. “I’m here now. All I can do is continue to show them I want to be here.”

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