Trent Williams Was Ready to Play Before Redskins Placed Him on NFI List in 2019

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2020

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 11: Trent Williams #71 of the Washington Redskins walks onto the field prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 11, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams was preparing to make his 2019 debut before the Washington Redskins placed him on the non-football injury list last November.

Williams had failed a physical because he experienced discomfort when attempting to put on his helmet in October after he had a growth removed from his head during the preceding offseason.

The seven-time Pro Bowler recounted the situation Thursday to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

On next week’s RapSheet + Friends, we have an exclusive talk with #49ers LT Trent Williams, one of our most enlightening interviews. Niners & Skins fans will love to dig in. A short clip is below with a surprising revelation (full interview will post at https://t.co/yGplUseycG) https://t.co/snTZQ6kwpf

"I was literally waiting on my new helmet to come in. I was getting ready to kind of gear up. ... I was put on the NFI before I could even get the helmet to get back out there," he said.

The growth was the biggest reason his relationship with the Redskins deteriorated to the point he engineered his exit from the team this offseason. He told reporters he had alerted the team's medical staff of the growth years prior but that he had only recently become aware of how serious it had become.

Kareem Copeland @kareemcopeland

Trent Williams said he almost lost his life. Was scary and still is. #redskins https://t.co/M5fXH3ikGa

NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay reported last August that Williams didn't want to play for Washington anymore and that he was prepared to miss regular-season games. 

The team couldn't work out a trade before the deadline, and his NFI designation meant his year was over without a single appearance.

Williams finally got his wish in April after the 49ers acquired him for a 2020 fifth-round pick and a 2021 third-rounder. He has one year remaining on his contract, and Rapoport reported he agreed to a restructuring for 2020:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

From NFL Now: New #49ers LT Trent Williams told me on RapSheet + Friends that he's agreed to a tweaked final year of his contract, pending physical. My understanding is it gives him some upfront money (a nice thing, since he earned zero last year). https://t.co/fAf28yGm15

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 49ers haven't been able to evaluate Williams' health for themselves, with Rapoport noting his restructured deal is pending a physical.

His comments Thursday would indicate he'll be ready to go when on-field workouts resume.