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Not At Full Capacity, Trent Williams Showed Grit Playing Sunday

Posted Oct 17, 2017

While the left tackle wasn't 100 percent against the 49ers, he managed to play the entire game to help the Redskins win.

While the left tackle wasn't 100 percent against the 49ers, he managed to play the entire game to help the Redskins win.

At the end of last week, the prospects for left tackle Trent Williams playing in Sunday’s game against the 49ers seemed dubious at best. He hadn’t practiced for nearly two weeks thanks to the bye and his knee, which he injured against the Chiefs, was still giving him pain.

But if there’s one thing to learn from Williams’ seven years in the league, it’s to never count him out.

Though he was close to sitting out the team’s 26-24 victory, Williams made what head coach Jay Gruden called a “valiant effort,” playing in 73 of the offense’s 74 snaps, showing off his resiliency at a time when multiple Redskins are out with injury.

“I felt average,” Williams said of his play. “I didn’t necessarily feel like myself, but that’s expected. I haven’t done anything with football in the last two weeks. I felt rusty. It was kind of hard early trying to fight through the rust and everything, but once you start getting in the flow of the game and the adrenaline starts rushing, you kind of start to worry about the game more than anything.”

Williams said once he made the decision to play, his mindset began to change, which helped him to focus on the competition in front of him and not the pain and rust from the previous week of sitting out.

“Once you accept the fact that you’re going to be going through pain, it’s not so normal,” Williams said. “I already knew it was going to be pretty tough, but everybody out here is fighting, there’s no excuse for me not to.”

Williams allowed just one sack to defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, the only sack of the day, and played a role in extending a drive in the first half when he recovered a Chris Thompson fumble. Without swing tackle Ty Nsekhe healthy, tackle T.J. Clemmings had been preparing all week to start if he was called upon, but Williams stepped up.

“It’s always going to be hard, especially when you go through a week with no practice,” Williams said of finding the groove again. “Mental rest can do a lot for you mentally, but you need the rest physically, especially with offensive linemen. What we do, we get in a rhythm, and you’ve got to steadily tweak things here and there, so not having practice makes it very tough.”

That didn't mean Williams wasn't critical of himself or the team.

"We’ve got some things to clean up," Willaims said. "We can be a lot better. We’ve got to cut the turnovers down and the penalties. We could’ve knocked them around, but we fought through. We definitely came away with three points sometimes when we should’ve had seven, but it is what it is. We’ll watch film and make corrections."

When asked if Williams would have played had Nsekhe been available, Gruden hypothesized that he still would have been in the starting lineup. Sunday was another example of Williams’ leadership and dedication to the team, knowing the importance of the game in setting the tone for the rest of an important week, preparing for the first-place Eagles.

“He played extremely well,” Gruden said. “And I know he didn’t feel like himself, but I’ll tell you what, he was impressive. He played really well. We’re glad he played.”

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