Giants Rumors: NYG Optimistic Leonard Williams Will Play Again This Year After Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 14, 2021

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 24: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)  Leonard Williams #99 of the New York Giants in action against the Carolina Panthers at MetLife Stadium on October 24, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Panthers 25-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The New York Giants are optimistic defensive lineman Leonard Williams could play again this season after test results on his arm/elbow injury returned "better than expected," according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.

Raanan noted Williams could play as early as Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

This development represents quite the turn of events. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Williams suffered an elbow injury that could be "significant" in last week's loss to the Los Angeles Chargers that could rule him out for the remainder of the season.

The 2016 Pro Bowler set career highs in sacks (11.5), tackles for loss (14) and quarterback hits (30) in 2020. He parlayed his big season into a three-year, $63 million deal with the Giants that included $45 million guaranteed.

Williams, 27, is failing to keep pace with that production in 2021, though. Through 13 games, he has registered 62 tackles but just 5.5 sacks and four tackles for loss.

At 4-9, New York is in serious jeopardy of missing the playoffs for the fifth straight year, a streak that could cost general manager Dave Gettleman his job.

Taking Williams away from a pass rush that has just 25 sacks collectively (a bottom-10 mark) would add further misery for a franchise that continues to be mired in mediocrity.