ASHBURN — Trent Williams may be back at the Redskins’ facility, but the left tackle did not join his teammates for practice Wednesday — a day after he ended his months-long holdout.
Interim coach Bill Callahan said Williams failed his physical, noting the 31-year-old felt “discomfort” when putting on his helmet. In March, Williams underwent a medical procedure to remove a benign minor on his scalp. He was reportedly upset with the way the Redskins’ medical staff handled that issue, vowing privately to never play for them again.
The helmet twist is the latest development in Williams’ dispute with the Redskins, making it unclear if the seven-time Pro Bowler will suit up for Washington this season.
“I’m hopeful that he does,” Callahan said. “I have a lot of respect for Trent and what he’s achieved here, what he’s done. … I think his heart is in the right spot. Trent loves football, there’s nobody that loves football more that’s into it, that studies the game, that really gets into the matchups and is challenged by the matches.
“There’s no question that he has a love and passion for playing football.”
The Redskins were granted a roster exemption and have up to two weeks to activate him to the roster. They play Buffalo on Sunday and then have their bye week.
Callahan said he met with Williams for an hour earlier in the morning and the left tackle also participated in team meetings. He called Williams’ issue with his helmet “day-to-day,” and said his conversation with him was positive.
Washington opted not to trade Williams before Tuesday’s trade deadline, not getting an offer that met its asking price. The Redskins had resisted the idea of trading Williams for months, but reportedly entertained offers in recent days. The team could still look to deal him in the offseason.
By showing up Tuesday, Williams likely did so to ensure he’ll get credit toward free agency. His current deal expires in 2021, but his contract would have carried over if he had missed the entire season (pushing back free agency until 2022).
Williams missed eight total games in his time away from the Redskins, in which the team went 1-7. In his absence, veteran Donald Penn has done a solid job of filling in for the Oklahoma product.
Williams was not in the team’s locker room when reporters were present, but his teammates voiced their support for him. Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins met Williams for the first time, calling him a “pretty cool dude.”
Right tackle Morgan Moses, who donned his teammate’s jersey in training camp at a post-practice press conference, said Williams “looks great.”
The left tackle spent his time away from the Redskins working out in Houston and Los Angeles to stay in physical shape.
“He has decisions to make,” Moses said. “Obviously, it’s not ironed out yet but you want to see him here, selfishly I want to see him playing with me, with the guys. Honestly, he’s his own business.
“He has some things he needs to take care of and until he feels that those needs are answered you got to wait and see if he plays or not.”