Tyreek Hill has overcome his lack of size to become one of the most dangerous wide receivers and kick returns in the entire NFL, but a rookie-year collision with a former Pittsburgh Steelers player nearly had Hill ready to hang up his cleats.
When Hill was a rookie playing with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016, Hill was not yet a dominant receiver, but had already established himself as a kickoff returner.
That is, until he faced the Pittsburgh Steelers, which nearly caused him to give it up. Hill said a hit he took that season from Steelers linebacker Vince Williams that was so hard he almost stopped returning kicks.
“The hardest hit I ever took in the league was probably my rookie year,” Hill said in a recent video interview with Bleacher Report. “Vince Williams from the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s not in the league no more, but dude he made me not want to do kickoff returns no more.”
Here’s the hit in question.
Hill eventually did give up kick returns, but not before he became an All-Pro receiver. Now with the Miami Dolphins, he is one of the highest-paid receivers in the NFL, so it’s a good thing for him that Williams’ hit did not end up keeping him from his future in the league.
Hill had 592 yards of punt returns and 384 yards of kickoff returns in 2016, and three total return touchdowns, while recording just 593 yards as a receiver. Since then, the fewest number of yards he’s had in a season was 860 when he missed four games in in 2019. He’s gone over 1,000 in every other season.
Williams retired from the NFL after the 2020 season, capping an eight-year career as one of the hardest-hitting inside linebackers in the league. He fished with 479 tackles, including three against Hill. He is now an assistant coach at Pine-Richland High School.