Bringing in Wilk, who has worked with famed sports surgeon James Andrews, a Redskins doctor, was a priority for team owner Daniel Snyder, who worked hard to convince Wilk to accept a role with the franchise.
“He wants to have the best medical staff in the league,” a person familiar with the situation said of Snyder.
Over the weekend, a person with knowledge of Vermillion’s hire said the addition of the trainer and the remaking of the medical staff was part of an effort by Rivera to convince star tackle Trent Williams to return to the team. Williams held out of training camp and the first half of the season in frustration over what he described as a misdiagnosis of a growth on his head. The growth turned out to be a rare but survivable form of cancer.
Williams was later placed on the non-football injury list and told to stay away from the team facility, a decision he said came from former team president Bruce Allen as retaliation for his holdout. In the weeks before Allen’s firing at the end of the season, Williams said his relationship with the franchise was broken and he wanted to be traded.
With Allen and Hess gone, Rivera is said to be working hard to convince Williams, who has one year remaining on his contract, to return.
“One of Ron’s top goals is to get Trent back,” the person familiar with Vermillion’s hiring said. “I know for certain that Ron is going to try to get him back.”
The addition of Wilk could be part of that effort.
The Redskins believe Wilk, who has worked with several top football players, including Drew Brees and Eli Manning, will be an ideal expert to consult with players and doctors on players’ surgeries and rehabilitation. Andrews and Vermillion are said to have pushed for his hiring.
Mark Maske contributed to this report.