- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 23, 2012

Trent Williams tried. After leaving Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on the Washington Redskins‘ second offensive play from scrimmage with a right knee injury, the left tackle attempted to come back.

He couldn’t stay on the field. A few plays in the second quarter and a handful in the third, and Williams had to spend the rest of the game watching as Robert Griffin III faced relentless pressure.

“That’s my guy. I’ve only been here a little bit, but I don’t want any of my guys to get hurt,” Griffin said. “You can’t replace Trent Williams.”

Williams quickly said “no” when asked if he was concerned that this was a major injury. He sported a big brace on the right knee after the game and was in obvious pain as he tried to play through it.

“I could go left, just had trouble going right,” Williams said. “Didn’t really want to risk giving up a big quarterback hit, so just precautionary reasons.”

Williams was hurt early in the game as he was blocking the Bengals‘ Michael Johnson for running back Alfred Morris.

“I don’t know what it is as of now. I haven’t even looked at the replay,” Williams said. “I just felt it give out on me.”

Backup Jordan Black replaced Williams throughout the game, his first NFL regular-season action since Jan. 2, 2011. He did not take too much positivity from his performance in the loss, but right guard Chris Chester expressed confidence in Black if Williams is out for any period of time.

“[Williams is] a talented guy and has a great deal of ability. When you lose a player of that caliber, it does hurt you,” Chester said. “But at the same time, Jordan’s ready to go. Jordan’s played a lot of ball, and he knows how to step up and play.”

Special teams mixed bag

Special teams coordinator Danny Smith and his units took plenty of criticism over the first two weeks for a couple of blocked punts. Sunday, none of that happened on a mixed day for the Redskins‘ special teams.

On one hand, they handled a fake field goal by the Bengals well, turning the ball over on downs. But late, they were unable to down a punt at the Cincinnati 1 and couldn’t recover an onside kick.

“Overall, special teams, we definitely stepped up. Obviously no blocked punts; I think we did well on the kickoff coverage, had the ball inside the 20 as well as inside the 10, we had some good punt coverages,” linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “So overall I think we did well and gave our team a chance to win with [Brandon] Banks having a good return. But you’ve got to have a complete game and obviously there’s always plays you look back and wish you had.”

One of those was the onside kick, which Niles Paul recovered just before the 10 yards allowed.

“I took my steps, jumped and thought I was good,” Paul said.

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