INDIANAPOLIS — One week after suffering a “very scary” looking concussion during a punt play against the Denver Broncos — one that briefly had him admitted into a local hospital — Brandon Williams’ season has officially ended.
The Indianapolis Colts on Friday announced they have placed the veteran tight end on injured reserve. In a corresponding move, the team has signed safety Ronald Martin to its active roster from the practice squad.
Williams was injured on a Colts’ punt play with 14:11 left in the second quarter half last Thursday night’s matchup against the Denver Broncos, when he appeared to collide helmets with Broncos outside linebacker Deiontrez Mount.
After being immobilized and treated on the field by team medical personnel for about 15 minutes, Williams was placed on a stretcher and carted off; he was then taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation.
The Colts initially announced that Williams suffered a head injury, and was not believed to have suffered an injury to his neck or spine; he was placed on the cart and strapped down for precautionary measures.
While at the hospital, Williams was said to be “awake and alert;” he had no neck pain and had movement in his limbs. He was able to even return to the stadium by the end of the game, where he continued to be under the care of team trainers and doctors.
Head coach Chuck Pagano said Williams, who did not practice this week, was “doing well” when asked for an update on the tight end’s condition on Monday.
“Obviously, a very, very scary moment for him, certainly his family and everybody – our entire football team,” Pagano said. “You never want to see somebody taken off the football field in that manner. But again, our docs and trainers and first responders and EMTs – everybody did a great job. Thank God that he is fine and he is in good shape. He’s been here, he’s getting treatment, he’s feeling better every single day.”
Williams tweeted the day after the hit that “today is a better day” and thanked his Colts’ teammates and fans for their well-wishes.
“You all make times like this easier to get through!” he wrote.
A five-year NFL veteran, Williams — who had mostly been utilized as a special teamer and blocker in his first four NFL season wit the Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks — played in 14 games this season, and established career highs with 10 starts, 13 receptions and 121 receiving yards. He had a career-best 32-yard reception Week 4 in Seattle.
The Colts are left with three tight ends for Saturday's game against the Ravens in Baltimore: starter Jack Doyle, along with Darrell Daniels and Ross Travis. Jason Vander Laan, another tight end, suffered a concussion during Thursday's practice session and has been ruled out against the Ravens.
Martin, meanwhile, has had two stints on the Colts’ practice squad this season, and also briefly spent time on the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad.
He was originally acquired by the Colts via trade with the New York Jets on Aug. 28. He has played in 11 career games with the Jets (2015-16) and recorded two tackles (one solo). Martin also spent time on the Jets practice squad each of the last two seasons. He originally signed with the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent on May 2, 2015. Martin spent the 2015 offseason and training camp with the Seahawks before being waived on Sept. 5, 2015. He was claimed off waivers by the Jets the next day.
Collegiately, Martin played in 37 games (21 starts) at LSU and tallied 149 tackles (65 solo), 1.0 tackle for loss, 20 passes defensed, five interceptions, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.