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Seahawks defensive tackle Jesse Williams diagnosed with cancer

Jesse Williams, Richard Sherman

Seattle Seahawks’ Jesse Williams (90) heads off the field with Richard Sherman after NFL football training camp on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)


The Seahawks have announced that defensive tackle Jesse Williams has cancer.

Williams, a 24-year-old native of Australia who played college football at Alabama and was Seattle’s fifth-round pick in 2013, was diagnosed with papillary Type 2 cancer. He is scheduled to undergo kidney surgery.

“Although disappointing, I am a fighter and will handle this,” Williams said in a statement released by the team. “I am going to focus on my health and fighting this battle with a return to football as my ultimate goal. Thank you for your thoughts and support. Go Hawks!”

Seahawks General Manager John Schneider released a statement saying, “Jesse is an extraordinarily tough individual who has overcome a great deal in his life and we will support him in any way possible. He is in our thoughts and prayers.”

Williams has suffered knee injuries before each of the last two seasons and has yet to play in a regular-season game. Here’s hoping he makes it through this and gets on the field some day.