Trent Williams did not play last season, but the left tackle said he was prepared to play.
Williams’ beef with Washington’s medical staff over its handling of a cancerous growth on his head prompted a nine-game holdout until Oct. 29. Williams said Thursday he was prepared to play when he showed up at the team facility last season.
Williams failed his physical because of discomfort with his helmet, and while he was waiting on a new helmet, Washington placed him on the reserve/non-football injury list. That ended Williams’ season without him playing a down.
“The competitive juices started to flow, so I was really prepared to make my return last year,” Williams told Ian Rapoport on his RapSheet and Friends podcast. “I know all of the things that had went on and just being in that facility, being around teammates, being around the guys you fought with and bled with for some many years. It was almost impossible for me to fight the urge not to just want to get back on the field. I was literally waiting on my new helmet to come in. I was getting ready to kind of gear up and it was going to be somewhat of a surprise to some, but I think for the people who know me best they know how competitive I am.
“I was under the impression my new helmet was coming in that Tuesday, and then I was put on the NFI that Saturday, I believe, or Friday, I don’t remember. I was put on NFI right before I could even get the helmet to get back out there. It was a bummer but figured it was just how it was supposed to work out.”
Washington placed him on NFI on Nov. 7, saving the team $6 million in salary. Washington traded him to the 49ers this offseason, and San Francisco agreed to restructure his deal so he earns more upfront money.