Oft-injured wide receiver might see limited time against Oakland, but doesn’t feel that his football career comes down to what happens Thursday.

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A couple of touchdowns, some long catches, and a few tackles on special teams.

That was Kasen Williams’ answer to a question about what he hoped to do Thursday night.

The Seahawks receiver was grinning when he said this, as he knows the odds of such production are low. Especially considering the fact that (cringe) he might not even play.

Injuries are virtually unavoidable in the NFL, but you still have to feel for Williams. The Sammamish native’s talent can never seem to out-duel his health.

Seahawks 23, Raiders 21

 

A broken fibula in college, a pulled hamstring this training camp. How is he supposed to step up if his body won’t let him suit up?

“It’s super frustrating,” said the 6-foot-1, 219-pound Williams, who has been limited to just one preseason appearance (Minnesota) this fall. “Just because every single day, when I’m seeing other guys get reps and everybody has the ability to play, and for me it’s just like ‘man, I wish I was out here’.”

Most folks around here know the Kasen Williams story, but here’s a primer just in case.

In 2010, the Skyline High senior was a five-star recruit whom Parade Magazine and MaxPreps selected as their National Player of the Year. And despite offers from some of the best programs in the country, Williams signed with Washington and shined in his first two seasons.

As a freshman, he had 36 receptions for 427 yards and six touchdowns. As a sophomore, he had 77 catches — the third-highest season total in UW history — for 878 yards and six TDs.

He had 29 catches for 421 yards in eight games as a junior, but missed the rest of the season after fracturing his fibula vs. California. Consequently, his senior season was less-than-stellar, as Williams tallied a mere 195 receiving yards in nine games.

For a run-of-the-mill high school receiver, Williams’ stats would have constituted a solid college career. However, for the one of most touted recruits this area has ever produced, the numbers were underwhelming.

It was no surprise, then, that Williams went undrafted last year. But based on his natural ability, it wasn’t surprising that he got some serious looks, either.

The Bengals signed him first, but released him after he failed his physical. The Seahawks then signed him in June, but released him on September 5.

A day later, however, Seattle signed Williams to its 10-player practice squad, where he impressed coaches and teammates for over three months. And on Dec. 26, Williams replaced injured tight end Anthony McCoy on the 53-man roster.

He played four games — catching one pass for 8 yards — but it appeared to be a launching pad to a possible long-term roster spot. Then, after what was a fantastic offseason by all accounts, he pulled his hammy in camp.

“Injuries do screw things up and make it nerve-wracking,” Williams said. “You never know what coaches are thinking about — you gotta take advantage of opportunities.”

Performing well in the final preseason game would be the definition of “taking advantage.” With players such as Tanner McEvoy and Kenny Lawler in the mix, the battle for the final receiver spot is tight, although Williams has also proven to be adept on special teams.

It’s just that, given Kasen’s minimal practice time over the past 10 days, his body might not be ready for a full-speed, full-contact NFL game. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll admitted as much Thursday — but he didn’t rule Williams out.

As for Williams himself? He is keeping his spirits up. Based on the good will he has built up over the past year, he doesn’t feel that his football career comes down to what happens Thursday.

But that won’t keep him from fantasizing about getting in the game and putting on a show. Williams’ odds may be long, but his hopes remain high.