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After Tragedy, Dan Williams Comes Back

Posted Oct 2, 2013

Notebook: Nose tackle ready to play; Peterson named POW; Cards sign linebacker

Nose tackle Dan Williams returned to the Cardinals Wednesday after dealing with his father's tragic death.

Dan Williams sat at his locker, fixing his football pants before getting ready for practice, able to smile.

The nose tackle was back with the Cardinals for the first time since his family’s tragic car accident en route to watch Williams and his teammate play in New Orleans, an accident that claimed the life of Williams’ father, Thomas.

“I am doing a lot better,” Williams said. “Any time you lose your parent, it’s a tough loss. But my family has been supportive. I count my blessings. My mom and sister are all right. It’s bigger than me. God just had a different plan for me and for my father.”

Williams said both his mother and sister had to wear back braces, with his mom suffering bruised ribs and his sister with a small fracture in her back. But they are both expected to make a full recovery.

“After seeing the car, I am very thankful for my mother and sister still being with me,” Williams said.

The funeral for Thomas Williams was Saturday. Team president Michael Bidwill flew the defensive line from Florida to Memphis so they all could attend and support Williams.

Now, though, Williams gets back to football. Coach Bruce Arians said Williams will start Sunday against Carolina.

“You know he’s hurting,” Arians said. “I think the healing process takes a long time. I think being in football is the best medicine for healing. I think getting back here, getting him with the guys, giving him a purpose every day is the best healing for him.”

Williams said it was “definitely good” to get back to football, and said he wouldn’t have any problems focusing this week.

“You can’t get away from (the tragedy), but it’s the fact, so get back to your normal life,” Williams said. “My Dad was a huge football fan. He’d have it no other way.”

PETERSON NAMED DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Cornerback Patrick Peterson, after making two interceptions at the end of the Buccaneers’ game to seal the victory, was named NFC defensive player of the week. It was the first time Peterson has won such an honor – he was twice NFC special teams player of the week in his rookie season of 2011.

“I don’t think this is going to be his last one,” Arians said. Asked if Peterson could win offensive player of the week honors, Arians quipped “We’re hoping. That’s my next goal.”

“I just want to keep getting better each and every week,” Peterson said.

ADDING A LINEBACKER

The Cardinals signed veteran outside linebacker Marcus Benard while putting Vic So’oto – the outside linebacker they just signed last week – on season-ending injured reserve because of a chest injury. So’oto also suffered a concussion in the game, with both injuries occurring on a peel-back block.

Benard was released by the Patriots at the end of the preseason and has played defensive end much of his career. He had 11½ sacks for Cleveland in 25 games from 2009-11.

COLLEDGE, JOHNSON, BRINKLEY SIT

Guard Daryn Colledge (shin), safety Rashad Johnson (finger) and linebacker Jasper Brinkley (groin) all sat out practice Wednesday. Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett (groin), linebacker Kevin Minter (hamstring) and defensive end Ronald Talley (wrist) were limited. Arians said the Cardinals would be cautious with Johnson, for fear it could be infected and force further amputation of the digit.

For the Panthers, defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (hamstring), defensive end Greg Hardy (illness), safety Quintin Mikell (ankle) and cornerback D.J. Moore (knee) all sat out. Defensive tackle Kawann Short (ankle) was limited.

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