Tampa Police Investigating if Former NFL Player Received Unprescribed Drugs in Hospital

September 26, 2023

Tampa police are investigating after family members of former NFL wide receiver Mike Williams said someone may have slipped him unprescribed opioid medication while he was in the hospital after a construction accident.

A Tampa Bay Times report also gives new detail about what may have happened to Williams, 36, who played four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, until 2014. This year, he was injured while working for Exodus Electric Corp. on Aug. 18, the newspaper reported. Family members said they believe Williams was struck in the head by an object at work, but that he walked away and only later reported severe headaches and blurred vision.

A U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration summary of a construction incident on that date at a Tampa Target store does not mention Williams, the Times reported. An Insurance Journal check of Florida workers’ compensation cases shows only one contested claim against Exodus Electric, from 2022, and that did not involve Williams.

Williams’ girlfriend called 911 a few days after the incident, saying Williams had no feeling below the waste. After he was taken to the intensive care unit at a Tampa hospital, he was diagnosed with brain lesions and a spinal infection, and underwent spinal surgery, family and friends told the Times.

He spoke with family later. But on Sept. 1, two weeks after the accident, Williams went into cardiac arrest, family members said. A friend reportedly told the family that Williams had asked for Percocet, due to pain, and that someone who visited him may have supplied it to him illicitly, the newspaper reported. The painkiller may have complicated his recovery.

Tampa police declined to comment on the investigation, but the Times obtained a photograph of the statement made by the grandmother of Williams’ daughter and spoke with friends. A medical examiner said the case is under review.

Photo: Williams in 2013.(AP Photo/Brian Blanco, File)

Topics Law Enforcement

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