Running back DeAngelo Williams has had a successful football career.
In 11 seasons, he’s rushed for 8,096 yards and 61 touchdowns on 4.7 yards per carry.
But Williams recently did something that could’ve seriously jeopardized the twilight of his football career.
Despite being on the wrong side of 30 (running backs notoriously fall off at that age), Williams was productive the last two years at 32 and 33 years old.
So, pundits were wondering why Williams would risk injury participating in a professional wrestling match.
From USA Today:
DeAngelo Williams’ pro wrestling career only lasted one night.
The free agent running back made his debut in Impact Wrestling’s Slammiversary XV on Sunday, and while he mainly looked the part, he narrowly escaped a serious neck injury when he attempted to land a “frog splash” from the top of the rope.
This is why you start at the bottom, train, and learn from a pro @DeAngeloRB https://t.co/ViP219sJMg
You can see how Williams overshot his leap onto the table and landed face first on the mat. Luckily, he was not injured.
Williams joined ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday and said that it was his first and last pro-wrestling event.
“It was a one-shot deal. A lot of the things that I do, if not all the things that I do, has a meaning to it. I don’t do it just because the opportunity came.”
Williams explained that he wanted to participate in the event to honor his late uncle. When Schefter asked Williams about the table mishap, Williams said that the video looked way worse than how it actually was:
“It wasn’t my face that hit the mat. I kind of protected my face with my hands, my arms.But you couldn’t see that part. What happened is in practice when I was coming off, I didn’t have the adrenaline going. So I didn’t get high and it was easy. When I got in the ring and the crowd was cheering and my adrenaline was pumping, I got super high and I was up there forever. And I’m like, ‘This is not how I practiced it.’ And when I came down, I overshot it a little bit. And when I overshot it, the way that I landed, my back took most of the force. But the table gave a little bit. It goes to show too that the tables are real … There’s nothing fake about that.”
Williams added that he’s committed to continuing his career for the 2017 season, so general managers don’t need to worry about him finding his way into another wrestling ring.
Prior to the wrestling match, no NFL franchise would dare offer Williams a contract. The injury risk made him uninsurable. Now that he’s walked away unscathed, he’s back on the market.
People always say wrestling is fake. But as Williams learned, it’s “real” when someone goes through a table.
It will be interesting to see if he lands one more job to finish out his career.
Hopefully he lands smoother than he did on that table.