Williams placed on injured reserve list

Friday, December 31, 2004

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Rams safety Aeneas Williams, bothered by a neck injury much of the season, was placed on injured reserve Thursday.

Williams, an eight-time Pro Bowl player, was inactive the last two games and has been a seldom-used reserve in three other recent games. He'll be 37 in January, although Rams coach Mike Martz stopped short of saying whether the injury could end his career.

"That's way too premature," Martz said. "I know that deep down inside, he really, really wants to play."

The move has been discussed for several weeks. Earlier this month, Williams met with team doctors about an arthritic condition in the neck.

Martz said Williams has been slow to recover from the injury.

"I'm just not going to put him in jeopardy like that," Martz said. "We'll just see when the season's over, how he mends. He'll decide what he wants to do and we'll go from there."

Williams leads active players with 55 interceptions, tied for 15th on the career list with Hall of Famer Lem Barney and Pat Fischer. He has returned nine interceptions for touchdowns, tied for second on the career list.

But he had no interceptions this year.

Williams made six Pro Bowls as a cornerback with the Arizona Cardinals and one more with the Rams. He moved to safety in 2003 after a broken leg and torn ankle ligaments midway through the 2002 season and made his eighth Pro Bowl in 2003.

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