Brandon Williams sat in his usual seat near the back of the Ravens’ meeting room, but something was wrong. The dry-erase board down front had dissolved into a blur of colors and squiggles. Williams squinted and blinked furiously but couldn’t bring the image into focus.
“Like I got sand in my eye almost,” the Ravens defensive tackle recalls.
Like many elite athletes, he had been able to count on near-perfect vision for most of his life. But seemingly overnight, he could not achieve this most basic of physical functions.
Williams finally went to his doctor and after a round of tests, learned he was suffering from keratoconus, a degenerative condition in which the corneas weaken and eventually bulge out, leading to blurry or distorted vision.