The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office has released an initial case summary report stating that the cause of death for former NFL wide out Mike Williams was dental-related sepsis.
News outlets cited a construction accident as the cause of Williams’ death on September 12 in Tampa, Florida. “Heavy supplies landing on his head” was the cause of the 36-year-old’s work-related injury on August 21, as reported by the medical examiner’s office.
After that, a local hospital admitted him to their intensive care unit. The patient was placed under anesthesia and intubated after experiencing a cardiac arrest, according to the report.
His death was attributed to “bacterial sepsis with cerebral abscesses and necrotizing labor pneumonia due to multiple caries and retained tooth roots,” according to the preliminary medical examiner’s reporting. Later on, the medical examiner’s office would release a detailed autopsy report.
The cause of death for Williams is reported as natural causes. Another issue that was mentioned was cardiovascular disease.
According to Chris Wilkerson, a representative for the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office, who emailed CNN on Saturday morning, this is the first recorded fatality caused by dental-related sepsis in county records that go back to the beginning of the 1980s.
After Williams graduated from Syracuse University in 2010, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected him in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. After catching 65 passes for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns, Williams—a native of Buffalo, New York—was voted second for the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year. In his first season with the Buccaneers, he started every game.
Williams was traded for by his hometown team, the Buffalo Bills, after playing four seasons with Tampa Bay. He was a member of the Bills for just one season.
Throughout his 63-game NFL career, Williams caught 223 passes for 3,089 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Wayne Probert is a senior reporter at Zobuz, covering state and national politics, and he is a grantee with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Before joining Zobuz, he worked as a freelance journalist in Kentucky, having been published by dozens of outlets including NPR, the Center for Media.