KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Words were not needed Wednesday to see how happy wide receiver Fred Williams felt.
The expression on his face said it all.
“I’m back, man,” Williams said with a wide grin.
Williams re-signed with the Chiefs practice squad Monday after being waived on Oct. 1 in favor of wide receiver Kenny Cook, whose contract was terminated to make room for Williams’ return.
“It’s a business,” Williams said. “Only thing I can do is control what I can control. They told me to just continue to work hard and I could possibly be back. Now I’m back and I don’t plan on going nowhere.”
The 6-0, 190-pound Williams emerged as a fan favorite during training camp and he led the Chiefs in preseason action with 15 catches for 167 yards and three touchdowns.
Williams, who also spent the 2014 season on the practice squad, said he stayed in the Kansas City area and worked out the past two weeks with a view he would get another opportunity.
“I trained and just made sure I stayed close because I want to be here,” he said. “KC is like my second home.”
And Williams hopes he shows enough improvement to have a permanent spot in Kansas City.
“I just got to continue to make progress, show them that I’m game ready,” he said. “They felt like I wasn’t game ready, so I got to work hard and continue to work hard and put myself in a better position.”
PHONE CALL CHANGES PLANS
Rookie linebacker Josh Keyes had options earlier in the week and was preparing to head to Atlanta to workout for the Falcons on Tuesday.
His plans changed, however, when the phone rang.
“The Chiefs called and said they wanted to sign me to the practice squad,” Keyes said. “I’m back in football again and get to play in the NFL some more. It’s just a blessing to be here.”
The 6-2, 223-pound Keyes officially signed with the Chiefs practice squad Tuesday after linebacker Jayson DiManche signed with the Cleveland Browns.
Keyes’ signing comes almost a month since the Tamba Bay Buccaneers waived him from their practice squad on Sept. 24. He originally entered the league in May as an undrafted free agent out of Boston College with Tampa Bay and spent training camp with the Buccaneers.
Keyes had a productive preseason, totaling nine tackles (seven solo) and three special teams tackles in four exhibition games, before joining Tampa Bay’s practice squad.
The waiving in late September caught him off guard.
“It was a surprise,” Keyes said. “I thought I played pretty well throughout the preseason and throughout the first few weeks of the season as well, and it came out as a surprise. But this is the NFL and there are surprises every day. I took it in and I went home, and started to work out more and more.”
Keyes said he stayed in shape and had workouts with other NFL teams, including the Tennessee Titans.
But the Chiefs extended the contract offer and Keyes is happy to have a shot after a period of uncertainty.
“I left the Bucs a few weeks ago and I wasn’t really sure where I’d be,” Keyes said. “I got the call, I was ready, I got here and I’m so excited to get back on the field and start playing football again.”