The team announced the rookie left tackle underwent left shoulder surgery Tuesday to repair a torn labrum that is likely to sideline him for the entire year. The 21-year-old is expected to make a full recovery, the Bengals added.
Williams sat out minicamp with an injury new coach Zac Taylor described as "dinged up." After seeing the doctor, it turned out much worse for Williams.
"We look forward to Jonah being a major contributor in the future, and know that he won't let this injury deter him from still being an important part of this team," Taylor said in a statement. "We're confident in our offensive line personnel as we head into training camp, and we believe they can do their part in helping this team achieve its goals."
The Alabama product was widely considered the best offensive lineman in the 2019 NFL Draft. When he fell to Cincinnati at No. 11, the Bengals eschewed other options to snatch up the nasty road grader they believed would be the long-term solution to a position they'd struggled at since allowing Andrew Whitworth to walk two years ago.
If Williams indeed sits the entire season, he will become the eighth first-round pick in the last 10 years to miss his entire first season, per NFL Research, and the second Bengals player in that span.