- - Sunday, June 9, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There are some important dates in sports history for Washington fans, dates that should be seared in their minds, dates that should be passed on from one generation to the next.

Jan. 30. 1983, of course, is one of the important ones, when the Washington Redskins won their first Super Bowl.

April 14, 2005 — the day the relocated Montreal Expos took to the field at RFK Stadium for their first home game as the Washington Nationals.

Then there is the date that still resonates strongly — June 7, 2018, when the Washington Capitals won their first Stanley Cup.

Now, though, June 7 is going to have to make room for another important date in Washington sports history — specifically, June 7, 2019.



That’s the date that Redskins president Bruce Allen said he knows what the truth is. That’s no small feat for the Prince of Darkness. The truth is as elusive to him as winning football is.

He was speaking about the controversial status of the Redskins‘ most important player, tackle Trent Williams, who, according to a report Wednesday by CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, refused to attend last week’s mandatory minicamp because of a dispute surrounding his medical care.

Williams‘ issues with Skins are not financial at all according to numerous sources with knowledge of the situation,” La Canfora reported. “He’s told teammates he has demanded a trade or his release from the club due to their handling of his recent medical situation. Has vowed not to play for them.”

The medical situation referred to here was an off-season cancer scare Williams reportedly had with a growth on his head that was removed and diagnosed as benign.

There has been nothing from Williams or his agent since the report. As damaging as this would appear to be for the organization, it’s reasonable to assume that if it was false, Williams and his agent would have publicly issued a statement of some sort shooting it down. But it’s been almost a week now, and nothing — not from Williams or the Redskins — that actually claims the report is not true.

In fact, Redskins coach Jay Gruden confirmed Williams has some sort of issue with the Redskins medical staff when he spoke to reporters Wednesday. “I know he’s frustrated,” Gruden said. “Any time you have something done, the procedure like that of that magnitude, you want to find the reason. You wish something maybe could have been done differently or different timing. But our doctors are very good. I know they did the best they can. I know they have plenty of degrees. I know they did the right thing in their mind. I know Trent is probably frustrated, but at the end of the day, we want him back. The staff wants him back. The players want him back. And hopefully, we’ll get it fixed.”

So something is going on.

Allen, speaking to NBC Sports Washington Friday, said he knows what it is.

“I know what Trent told me so I know what the truth is,” the Prince of Darkness said.

Now this discovery of truth might come as a surprise to the 25 agents polled last year by USA Today who voted Allen the least trusted executive in the NFL.

Allen refused to offer more details. “I’ll leave my conversation with Trent between the two of us,” he said. “Trent has been a valuable player for us and that’s why we signed him to the contract he has….I’ve talked to Trent a few times. He’s explained some things to me and I’ll leave it at that.”

Truth is, we may never know what the “truth” really is behind Williams‘ absence. But it really doesn’t matter. It won’t matter if the situation is resolved financially (Williams has two years remaining on the $66 million contract extension he signed in 2015) or some other way, and Williams, one of the team leaders and most influential players in the locker room, is there when the season begins. Damage has already been done.

The CBS report is an alarm that has been sounded throughout the league about this organization — that it can’t be trusted. This may not be a revelation among players, but now it’s out there in the public conversation. The questions about the Redskins medical staff are front and center in the Google universe now.

The damage goes beyond Redskins Park. What about Inova, the Redskins medical partner? Three years ago they announced that the team’s practice facility would be renamed the “Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park.”

The “truth” is not going to set anybody free here.

Hear Thom Loverro on 106.7 The Fan Wednesday afternoons and Saturday and Sunday mornings and on the Kevin Sheehan Show podcast every Tuesday and Thursday.

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