Here is the interview Chris Williams conducted with three media outlets coming off the practice fields at Halas Hall Sunday afternoon?
HOW DO YOU FEEL?
I feel good. I hope I look good. I feel good.
BECAUSE OF THE SURGERY DO YOU NOT HAVE TO CARRY THE VETERANS' EQUIPMENT OFF THE FIELD?
For now. I'm sure I will make up for it.
WHERE ARE YOU AT IN THE WHOLE DEAL? STILL WAITING FOR STITCHES TO HEAL?
No. The stitches are gone. I started rehab. Doing cardio. Lifting. I'm trying to get back in shape.
WHAT DAY DID YOU START REHAB?
I got the stitches out Thursday so I started this last Thursday. That was like right at the two-week mark.
THERE HAS BEEN A LOT SAID ABOUT THIS INJURY, WHEN IT HAPPENED, YOU'VE READ IT, HEARD IT. WHAT'S TRUE AND WHAT'S NOT TRUE?
It happened the second day of training camp. Something happened. It kind of went downhill in a hurry and so we got it corrected in a hurry. There is nothing there from college. I didn't miss a practice or a game in college. Obviously, if it was something serious because if I could play with it in college I sure as hell could play with it for money.
DID YOU HAVE ANY SETBACKS IN WORKOUTS LEADING UP TO TRAINING CAMP?
No. Nothing before the combine. I worked out fine. I worked out fine leading up to training camp. I got to training camp and I just kind of fell apart I guess.
WHY WOULD SOME TEAMS SAY THERE WERE MEDICAL RED FLAGS FOR YOU ENTERING THE DRAFT?
I had a herniated disc before I got here. We knew that. Everyone knew that. It just was a thing where most people it doesn't affect. It wasn't affecting me so if nothing is broke, you don't fix it. Then something happened in practice that second day, the disc started moving and that caused some problems.
THE SAME DISC YOU JUST HAD SURGERY ON?
SO THAT WAS THE RED FLAG?
Yeah, I guess that would be the red flag. Although some people said I had a neck problem or I had all kinds of problems coming in.
WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD A HERNIATED DISC?
Probably three, four years ago. I've known for a long time.
WAS THAT WHEN YOU HAD THE BACK INJURY AT THE BEGINNING OF YOUR COLLEGE CAREER AND YOU MISSED A BRIEF PERIOD OF PRACTICE BUT NOT A GAME?
Yes. It's kind of the same thing. They ran an MRI just to make sure. They found the disc. Not a big deal.
WAS THAT NOT LOOKED AT INITIALLY IN TRAINING CAMP BECAUSE YOU WERE HAVING SYMPTOMS OF BACK SPASMS?
It was tight. It was real tight. It was initially back spasms. It got real tight. It started getting better and then it got real worse.
CAN YOU UNDERSTAND PEOPLE'S REACTIONS?
Yeah, I guess I can understand it. But it is what it is. I'd rather it happen now than when I am 30 because the healing time now is going to be a lot less than if I was older. It's fixed now. I feel great. I feel better than I did any day in training camp. It's just a matter of healing.
WHAT MAKES YOU CONFIDENT YOU CAN PLAY IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON?
Because of the way I feel right now. The surgery went as well as it could go. I feel like, I'm pretty sure I am ahead of schedule in my rehab. So, I mean, I'm pretty confident in what's going on with that.
WHAT DID THEY TELL YOU TIMELINE WISE?
As far as weeks, I don't know. They just said it would be a week to week thing and [trainer] Tim [Bream] said I'm ahead of schedule as far as my progress. I don't know an exact timeline.
WHEN WILL YOU START RUNNING?
I don't know about running. I am already doing cardio and stairmaster and elipitical and doing some walking. I don't know when I will actually be able to run. The rehab thing is week to week.
BACK AND NECK ISSUES ARE SCARY. DO YOU WANT TO GO SLOW WITH THIS OR PEDAL TO THE METAL?
I want to put the pedal to the metal but they won't let me. They're making me take it pretty slow and be pretty consistent. The healing time is something that you can't speed up. But with that being said, I can do a lot of things as far as gaining my strength back, I can do upper body, I can do lower body, I can do just about everything working my core. I can do basically all the machine lifts and stuff like that. It gives me a chance to kind of get back where I was when I got to training camp. By the time the injury heals up the only other thing I will have to work on is getting my flexibility back.
WAS INJURED RESERVE EVER DISCUSSED?
No. Not with me. They might have discussed it. I don't know what was discussed.