Minnesota Vikings: Former Wide Receiver Dies During Flag Football

By Chris Katje
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

While the Minnesota Vikings took on the Green Bay Packers in the NFL Playoff game Saturday night, news began to hit the internet that a former Vikings draft pick had passed away. Chandler Williams, who was drafted by Minnesota in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

Williams died while participating in a flag football tournament in Miami, Florida. News reports list the cause of death as a heart related condition. Williams was a member of the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League.

In the 2012 season, Williams played in 12 Storm games. He caught 83 passes for 996 yards and scored 17 receiving touchdowns. Williams also served as the team’s kick return man, where he averaged 23 yards on 36 kickoffs. Williams had three return touchdowns on the season as well.

The Vikings took a chance on Williams, from the small Florida International University. Williams became only the second player to ever be drafted from the school. The Vikings signed Williams to a contract, but cut him after the team’s training camp.

Williams bounced around several teams in the NFL as a member of the practice squad or preseason roster. The Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs were all stopping places for Williams during his unsuccessful NFL career.

Chandler played for one season in the Canadian Football League for the Toronto Argonauts. In the CFL, Williams had only four receptions for 88 yards.

It seemed that Williams had found his calling with the Arena Football League. He was a key part of the Tampa Bay Storm’s offense. Williams will be missed by all his fans after leaving this earth at the young age of 27.

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