ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams kept playing on an injured knee as long as the playoffs remained even a remote chance. But now that all the Redskins have left to play for is a possible .500 season, Williams likely won’t play again.
Williams said Wednesday that barring an emergency situation — if the team desperately needs him to play — he’ll sit out the final two games.
He said if the Redskins’ line emerges healthy after Sunday’s home game against Denver, then there’s a good chance he’ll undergo surgery the following week to repair the patella tendon in his right knee. Williams said he has been told the recovery will take six months, which would put him on track to return around the start of training camp.
Williams said the final decision on if he’ll play or not is up to coach Jay Gruden. But Williams knows what he’s facing and would like to start the process sooner rather than later.
“It’s going to be a lengthy recovery, so that’s what I’m starting to direct my focus at right now,” Williams said. “Go ahead and get ready for next year.”
Williams said he has never had surgery, other than to repair a staph infection in high school. Over the last several seasons, Williams has worked hard in the offseason to prepare for the season, training in Houston and inviting the other offensive linemen to work with him in the summer. Now he’ll spend it rehabbing.
“This is uncharted territory for me,” he said. “I’m scared as hell! I’m s—-ing bricks over here man! I don’t really know what to expect. It’s a tough process to go through. It’s gotta happen though.”
Williams injured his knee during the Redskins’ Week 4 loss at Kansas City. He has been unable to fully participate in a practice since that game. He sat out games in Weeks 8 and 9 and was then able to play in four of the next six weeks. But after losing to the Los Angeles Chargers on Dec. 10, which officially eliminated Washington from the playoffs, Williams sat out the next game.
“Our goal was to be in the playoffs, and that’s not gonna happen,” Williams said, “so now it’s time to looking forward to getting healthy.”
Williams was among a number of Redskins who dealt with injuries this season. They have 18 players on injured reserve, including 12 players who would be considered starters or key backups.
Despite the knee issues, Williams played well enough to be named a starter in the Pro Bowl. He has been selected to the annual all-star game six straight seasons.
“The mental thing you have to know to perform without going through it physically every week. It’s extremely hard,” Williams said. “This year was more about overcoming adversity for me than it was just improving as a player.”