Chiefs' Williams putting family first

Pete Grathoff
The Kansas City Star (TNS)
Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams (26) scores around San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) during the Super Bowl. Williams is sitting out the NFL season to care for his mother, who has cancer.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams is excited for the first NFL games to kick off. But he's also hoping the COVID-19 pandemic won't cause a premature end to the season.

Williams won't see the field in the 2020 season, because he'll be caring for his mother, Virleana, who has Stage 4 cancer. On Thursday night, Williams was interviewed by CNN's Anderson Cooper and talked about his mom, the Chiefs and football during the public health crisis.

"I feel like the NFL Is on the right direction, trying to keep guys healthy and safe throughout it all," Williams said. "Like I said, I'm excited just to see the season start and I'm praying for it to finish."

Williams, who scored two touchdowns in the Chiefs' Super Bowl LIV win, told Cooper he has talked with his teammates and said it'll be tough not being with them.

But Williams will watch and be rooting from home. And not just for victories.

"At the end of the day, this is a sticky situation with the COVID and the guys," Williams said. "I'm excited for the season to keep going and I want to see it go through healthy and everything, but at the end of the day those are the guys I fought every day with so there is a concern for them and their health."

Williams said a couple of his friends have had a parent die because of COVID-19, so it wasn't a difficult decision to sit out the season and care for his mother.

"Man, listen, my mom is an only parent, raised four kids," Williams said. "I have an older sister and two younger brothers and I've seen my mom do it all.

“She can juggle it all. Right now I'm taking a pin away and I'm going to do the juggling, I'm gonna have to do it all."