While Trent Williams was able to play through the pain against the 49ers and Eagles, he was inactive last Sunday. Despite heeding the advice of rest for now, Williams hopes to return to form soon.
There's no disputing Trent Williams' pain tolerance, as the Washington Redskins' Pro Bowl tackle has fought through both a knee cap injury and a painful bone bruise over the last month.
The knee cap injury resurfaced during the Redskins' Week 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs and Williams first dealt with it during training camp.
After the bye following Week 4, Williams played in Washington's next two games against the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles, missing just 12 snaps combined in those outings.
But in last Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys, Williams took advice from the team's medical staff about resting. It was a tough decision for the five-time Pro Bowler, but he understood why needed to take a game off.
"I felt like it was the best decision to try to give it some rest and see if my body can react and kind of take the non-surgical approach for right now," Williams said.
Williams is optimistic about the benefits of resting some now so that he can play later on this season. Surgery potentially looms, however.
As someone who's never even broken a single bone in his life, though, Williams naturally is frightened about the possibility of going under the knife.
"If I want to play the career I think I can play and play well into my early- to mid-30's, I would probably have to get it at some point, just being honest, totally honest about the situation," Williams said. "I can gut it out, but it's just not that safe for me, speaking longevity-wise. You've got to think, if I'm 29 now and I put it off for a couple more years, your body just doesn't heal the same when you're entering that third decade of life.
Check out behind the scenes images from Left Tackle, Trent Williams's 2017 Redskins Photo Shoot
"So, you've got to weigh that type of decision out too. But, it's difficult, sitting there watching games, because I know that I can help my team in some capacity. It's tough, man, it's tough. I've never been in a situation like this."
Williams said he's consulted with multiple doctors about balancing rest vs. surgery, and their opinions have varied.
"Some say that you can do it right now and go ahead and be ready for next year, but the majority says that with a few weeks rest, you can give that bone bruise area time to chill and kind of recover and then you won't feel that instability that you feel," Williams said. "Obviously, the knee cap is going to float around, there's really nothing you can do at this point, but when you strengthen all of the areas around it, you take the chance of your leg buckling and you put all your major ligaments at risk. That's the scary part."
Williams added that while his ligament issue isn't going to get any worse if he plays, he described his bone bruise as feeling like "somebody stabbing you in the knee."
"If you had a bruise in your arm or something and somebody just kept punching that bruise, eventually that bruise is going to feel like you broke your arm and that's essentially what I'm doing with that," Williams said. "I've played three hours on, just grinding, grinding, grinding in the same spot. Sometimes I don't feel it and sometimes I do, but in the days ensuing it's torture."
For now, Williams is listed as "week-to-week" as he tries to see if rest will allow him to get back on the field soon. His presence is certainly missed for an offensive line that unit-wide is facing injury issues.
"I just hope these guys get well," said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden of the offensive line injuries. "These guys lay it all on the line for it, they practice hard, they have been doing it all right with their bodies, with the weight room, they get themselves ready to play, it's just one after another, two tight ends go down in the same half for games – it's crazy. I just want these guys to get well. That all I care about. If we can get those guys dressed up, play and compete."