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Family believes Mike Williams was given drugs in hospital prior to his death

Mike Williams in Bucs gear

August 21, 2010; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike WIlliams (19) during the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams died earlier this month due to medical issues following a construction accident. Questions still abound weeks after Williams’ death.

Williams died on September 12 while in intensive care at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Fla.

On August 18, the former Buccaneers standout had an accident at a construction site while working for Exodus Electric Corp. Initially, Williams thought he only had headaches as a result of the accident. But a few days later, he started having serious trouble walking and called 911. He was admitted to the hospital on Aug. 22 and underwent spinal surgery. He had been diagnosed with brain lesions. A test of the spinal fluid also revealed he had a staph infection.

Once out of the intensive care unit, Williams was told he would have to learn how to walk again. But then on Sept. 1, Williams went into cardiac arrest. An MRI following that medical episode reportedly revealed no brain activity.

Williams was still being kept alive on life support machines after that point. Then on Sept. 7 came the report that Williams had died. That report proved to be inaccurate.

Williams had been taken off a ventilator two days after the erroneous Sept. 7 report. He died a few days later on Sept. 12.

Police have since launched an investigation into Williams’ death after the grandmother and mother of his daughter reached out to authorities in Tampa.

According to a report from Olivia George of the Tampa Bay Times, the two women heard that someone had brought Williams the drug Percocet the same day that the former NFL player went into cardiac arrest at the hospital on Sept. 1. Percocet is a prescription drug classified as an opioid painkiller. They contacted police about their concern prior to Williams’ death.

Three other friends of Williams reportedly shared similar concerns, believing the former player had been given drugs while in the hospital, as well as the herbal drink kratom that he had recently begun using regularly. One friend said Williams had even asked the friend to bring him some Percocet while in the hospital.

The exact cause of Williams’ death remains unclear and is still “pending further study.”

Williams had a standout rookie campaign for the Buccaneers. He had 65 catches for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns during the 2010 season. He finished second in AP Offensive Rookie of the Year voting.

Williams played five seasons in the NFL. He totaled 223 catches for 3,089 yards and 26 touchdowns for his career.

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