The Washington Times - October 3, 2012, 12:56PM

Left tackle Trent Williams was determined to play through a bruised right knee against Tampa Bay last Sunday because he equates being on the field to leadership. Leading is one of his top priorities this season, and that’s not just because he’s a team captain. He is trying to prove the high quality of his character following his drug suspension for the final four games last season.

“That’s a driving force behind a lot of things that I do as of now,” Williams said Wednesday. “I made a mistake, and I kind of use it as a learning experience. Of course, I alienated my team for four games and wasn’t able to be there. I was a captain at the time, and that made me feel even worse. This year I’m just trying to prove to them that I’ve grown up a lot and that’s not me anymore.”

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Williams played Sunday despite missing practice last Wednesday and Thursday and being limited in Friday’s practice. He suffered the injury early in the loss to Cincinnati on Sept. 23.

“I was somewhat proud of myself for fighting through that pain,” he said. “A couple years ago, I may have kind of wanted to shut it down and not play through that type of pain because it was a lot of discomfort. I was somewhat proud of myself for that part of growing up.”

Williams’ knee made it through the game OK.

“It was sore as a bleep yesterday,” he said, “but I’m good now.”