With a heavy heart nose tackle Dan Williams rejoined the Cardinals and participated in his first practice with the team Wednesday since the death of his father Thomas who perished in a car accident on Sept. 20.

“I’m doing a lot better. Anytime you lose a parent it’s definitely a tough loss” Williams said. “But I just count my blessings that my mom and my sister they’re OK and they’re doing all right. God just had a different plan for my father.”

Thomas Williams 61 along with his wife Karen and their 29-year-old daughter Kristina Fluckner were on their way from Memphis to New Orleans to watch Dan and the Cardinals play the Saints.

According to police reports Karen Williams was driving the couple’s 2007 Chevy Tahoe when she attempted to pass another vehicle on Interstate 55 near the town of Grenada Miss. The Williams’ SUV however veered off the highway collided with a guard rail and went over a bridge.

The vehicle plunged about 50 feet onto a country road that runs below the interstate. It landed upright but Thomas Williams the only person in the SUV believed to not be wearing a seatbelt was ejected and thrown about 5 feet.

“After seeing the car I’m thankful my mother and my sister are still here with me” said Williams the Cardinals’ first-round pick in 2010.

He said his mother has some bruised ribs and his sister has a small fracture in her neck and that other than both of them having to wear back braces they each are all right.

Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians met with Williams before practice and announced Williams would be back in the starting lineup for Sunday’s game against the visiting Carolina Panthers.

“You know he’s hurting” Arians said. “The healing process takes a long time. I know when I lost my father I still get upset when I talk about him.

“Being in football is the best medicine for healing. Getting him back here getting him back with the guys giving him a purpose every day is the best healing for him.”

Williams has missed the past two games since the tragic accident which is still being investigated. He said he’s had his chance to grieve and is turning his focus back to football. He also said his father wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Anyone who met my father he always made a lasting impression” he said. “When I had to tell people that he passed people cried right there in front of me. That’s the type of guy he was. From the gas station to the local corner store and of course to his friends and everybody close to him he touched a lot of people.

“I know my father is smiling down on me and I believe he’s watching over me.”
Peterson honored

Cornerback Patrick Peterson was named the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Week after intercepting two passes in the final four minutes of Sunday’s win at Tampa.

He joins Calais Campbell as the only players in franchise history to win both defensive and special teams Player of the Week honors. But considering that he now is involved in a handful of plays on offense every week is Peterson interested in winning Offensive Player of the Week too?

“That would be great” he said. “A defensive player winning Offensive Player of the Week? That would be phenomenal. Hopefully I’ll have my opportunities on offense but we’ll have to wait and see what comes Sunday.”