“The ligament that holds my kneecap in the socket needs to be reconstructed at some point,” said Williams, a five-time Pro Bowl honoree. “It’s like a five-, six-month surgery, I think, in recovery time. I’m just trying to hold off on that as long as possible. Hopefully get through the season and revisit it in the offseason.”
Williams suffered the right-knee injury in the first quarter of the Redskins’ Oct. 2 loss at Kansas City when a player rolled up on the back of his foot, wrenching his knee in the process. He tried to continue playing, but his leg buckled and he went down on the field on the following play. He was helped to the sideline, received treatment and returned to complete the game after missing just four snaps.
The Redskins had a bye the following week, and Williams hasn’t practiced since.
But he played in the Oct. 15 game against San Francisco after Coach Jay Gruden told him the team needed him. (Backup offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe wasn’t unavailable, recovering from his own surgery on a core muscle.)
Williams was hardly 100 percent in the 26-24 victory over the 49ers, but a less-than tiptop Williams is better than most NFL left tackles, Gruden has noted on more than one occasion.
Asked Saturday if the playing against the 49ers set him back, Williams said: “It didn’t help. That’s the reality. It didn’t help. But that was expected. You’re not gonna go play three hours on a bum knee and expect to be better the next day.”
The 6-5, 310-pound Williams is arguably the Redskins’ most valuable offensive player apart from quarterback Kirk Cousins. Since the Redskins chose him in the first round of the 2010 draft, Williams has been resolute about playing through injuries to his ankles, knees and shoulders.
Asked how the pain of his current knee injury compared to other ailments he has played through, Williams acknowledged that it was worse.
Redskins Coach Jay Gruden classified Williams as “questionable” for Monday’s game at Philadelphia (5-1), which has major implications for the NFC East race.
“He’s still pretty much in the same place,” Gruden said, asked about Williams’ progress. “Hopefully … the pain and soreness is starting to alleviate a little bit, but he’s still a little gimpy.”
The Redskins (3-2) would remain viable contenders for the division title with a victory Monday, while a second loss to the Eagles would seriously handicap their prospects.
The Eagles boast one of the best defensive fronts in football, anchored by two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, and sacked Cousins four times in Philadelphia’s 30-17 victory over the Redskins in Week 1.
Williams said he hoped to play Monday night.
“End of the day, the ligament is not going to get any worse; the bruising probably could [get worse],” Williams said. “Me choosing the play through it — it’s not where I can make it worse. It is what it is. I’m gonna have to approach it sometime. I’m just trying to push it off as long as possible.”
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