This article is part of our Injury Analysis series.
The Chiefs apparent starting running back is at risk of losing his top spot on the depth chart as he remains limited by a hamstring injury. He originally sustained the injury on July 28 and has not practiced in the days since.
Lower extremity muscle injuries are common this time of year as players return to action. These seemingly minor injuries can often prove to be very problematic and limiting as strains anywhere along the kinetic chain disrupt the biomechanical rhythm of the lower body. As a result, the injured athlete becomes vulnerable to re-injury or new injuries. Hamstring strains are particularly difficult to manage because of the manner in which the body's repairs the injury site.
To fix a strain, the body's natural healing response lays down new collagen fibers in the damaged area in a haphazard and random way. These repaired muscle fibers adequately fill in the gaps but remain weak until they are completely integrated as part of the original muscle. Steps during the recovery process can be taken to encourage a more efficient healing response, but time remains essential.
Furthermore, the athlete often feels better while this process is ongoing. If they then return prematurely, the still healing fiber can easily be disrupted and the entire healing process must restart. As a result, team's often take a conservative approach when handling hamstring strains, prolonging the individual's time off.
Williams' extended time away from the field is the right method of treatment to preserve his