Kevin O'Connell further fortified Rams Midwest on Wednesday, officially hiring Tyler Williams as the Vikings' executive director of player health and performance.
Williams spent 15 years with the Rams, from St. Louis to Los Angeles, and follows O'Connell to Minnesota, where he'll be the top athletic trainer replacing Eric Sugarman, who was let go this week after 16 seasons with the Vikings.
Williams is the fifth former Rams staffer to join the new regime in Minnesota, including O'Connell, offensive coordinator Wes Phillips, special teams coordinator Matt Daniels and quarterbacks coach Chris O'Hara.
For the past two seasons, Williams served as the Rams' assistant athletic trainer in charge of sports science. He held the title of sports science coordinator in 2015 when the Rams athletic training staff was named the Ed Block NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year by the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society. The group named Williams its Assistant Trainer of the Year after the 2020 season.
"Tyler led the cutting-edge sports science efforts with the Rams that played a huge role in the success there," O'Connell said in a statement. "He is extremely bright and a great leader. I'm excited about the positive impact he will make for the Minnesota Vikings."
He recently helped oversee a Rams roster that has been one of the league's most available based on adjusted games lost, a metric by Football Outsiders. The Rams were the fifth-healthiest team in 2020, the most recent year analyzed by Football Outsiders, not counting COVID-related absences and opt outs. Los Angeles hasn't ranked worse than 10th since 2017 in a metric that weighs starters' absences more than backups' and accounts for all injury report appearances.
The Vikings' website still lists rehabilitation director Matt Duhamel, assistant head athletic trainer Rob Roche and assistant athletic trainers David Jantzi and Amanda DeKanick as part of the organization.
- O'Connell also added a 24th assistant coach in Grant Udinski, named assistant to the head coach in charge of special projects. Udinski is a former Baylor and Panthers assistant coach. He will hold a title that O'Connell had early in his coaching career with San Francisco in 2016.
- General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah's first signing is defensive tackle T.Y. McGill, who re-signed with the team on Wednesday. McGill is a 29-year-old NFL journeyman who initially joined the Vikings practice squad in November. He played 33 defensive snaps in two games last season.