Washington Redskins Coach Jay Gruden spotted Trent Williams stretching before Friday’s practice and walked over with a big smile, patting his left tackle on the shoulder. It was Williams’s first real practice in more than a month, and Gruden was certainly happy about what that might mean for this weekend.
Williams missed the Redskins’ past two games but hasn’t ruled out suiting up for Sunday’s contest against the Minnesota Vikings. Since the Redskins’ Week 4 loss at Kansas City, Williams has been trying to rest his injured knee, sitting out the team’s practices each week.
“It was nice to see him put his helmet on for the first time in a while, get his wrist taped, have the jersey put on over his shoulders. Wanted to make sure it still fit,” Gruden joked Friday afternoon.
Until Friday, Williams had only been active for a single practice since Week 4 — listed as limited on Oct. 21. But he was much busier Friday, testing his aching knee to see what might be possible against the Vikings.
“It’s all right,” he said following practice. “I just wanted to get a little measuring stick, see how it felt to move around and do football activities.”
Williams is listed as questionable on the injury report and said he’ll likely be a game-time decision on Sunday. While he anticipates eventually requiring surgery, he is hopeful to postpone that until after the season. He has been frustrated at times at the lack of progress but seemed more hopeful on Friday.
“Feel a little better than the last couple weeks,” he said, “but there’s still some uncertainty there.”
T.J. Clemmings started in Williams’s place the past two weeks, but the Redskins could have one more option along the line at their disposal against Minnesota. Ty Nsekhe has been sidelined since Week 3 with a core muscle injury but was on the practice field with his teammates all week. He said he’ll also be a game-time decision on Sunday.
“The prognosis was four to six weeks. Right now we’re at the six-week mark,” he said, “so it’s time to rev it up a little bit on the activity side and see how it responds.”
Coaches will take a closer look at both Nsekhe and Williams on Sunday before deciding who is healthy enough to play. Williams knows the pain is inevitable and says he’ll just have to decide whether it’s something he can play through.
“He has to feel comfortable enough so we can be effective,” Gruden said. “He’s played at a high level his whole career; I think with the pain he has been having, he just doesn’t feel like himself. If he feels like he can go, I’m sure he will go. He’s the toughest guy on this football team.”
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