Since carrying the ball four times against Western Kentucky, Williams had been sidelined, but his hip just wasn't getting better. As a result, Williams underwent went further testing earlier this week. On Wednesday, Joker Phillips announced that an MRI revealed a torn labrum in Williams' hip.
The senior running back will undergo surgery "as soon as possible," meaning his final college season is over barely after it got started.
"He's out after playing a game and 14 plays," Phillips said.
Williams is a fifth-year senior, so Phillips said a medical redshirt is not an option, so the injury will put an end to not only his season, but also his career.
"I feel (heartbroken) for him," Phillips said. "Not for us, for him because the guy has worked so hard. Everybody knows his story."
Williams' story is that he arrived at UK as a walk on. He sat out his freshman season, suiting up for the scout team before playing his way into action in his second season. He played four games a redshirt freshman and 10 more as a sophomore, impressing with a hard running style that belied his 5-foot-9, 184-pound frame.
Nonetheless, he was an afterthought heading into 2011 with a wave of new talent arriving on campus, but the Hiram, Ga., simply kept working. When backs around him went down with injury, Williams stepped in capably, starting UK's final five games, twice topping the 100-yard mark in late-season victories before scoring the game-winning touchdown in an upset of Tennessee. W
ith his strong performance at the end of the season and the injury to Josh Clemons, he entered his final season as UK's starter.
"We're definitely going to miss him," Matt Smith said. "It's tough to see. He's one of the hardest workers I've seen come through here to work his way from a walk on to being a starting running back here for us his senior year."
Williams will finish his college career with 736 yards and seven touchdowns on 170 carries along with 25 receptions for 90 yards.
Smith arrived on campus the same time as Williams, so it's not difficult for the center to put himself in his teammate's shoes. It would be understandable for Williams to shut down and turn inward, but Smith doesn't see him quitting on his team now.
"It would kill me if I had to miss my senior season like that because of injury," Smith said. "He's taking it well and he's still out here behind us a hundred percent. He's not giving up on what we've got going here even though he can't be out there making plays."
There isn't a player or coach around the football facilities that doesn't feel for Williams, but the fact of the matter is that there's still a game to played on Saturday and six more after it.
"Next man up," Phillips said. "That's the attitude you have to take."
The good news is Williams' backups have already proven they can get the job done. Jonathan George has impressed in his first extended playing time and Raymond Sanders is playing at a higher level than at any point in his time as a Wildcat. True freshman Dyshawn Mobley also figures to see more opportunity with Williams out, while plans to redshirt his classmate, Justin Taylor, remain in place unless the coaches are sure he will get significant playing time.
"If something should happen to one of those guys and we think we can get him the type of reps like we think we can get (Patrick ) Towles, then he'll play," Phillips said. "Otherwise, we won't play him."