Washington Redskins offensive lineman Trent Williams has yet to play a game during the 2019 season because of a holdout and distrust of the team’s medical staff and the organization.
Williams detailed Thursday what he said were “some scary things” that doctors told him as he was dealing with a tumor on his head. Williams said he told the team of the medical issue six years ago, and the growth on his head grew substantially over time. He said he had the tumor removed from his skull and needs to get a checkup every six months to make sure he was in good health.
The 31-year-old Pro Bowl tackle had been away from the team in the offseason because of surgery to get the tumor removed. In his return to the team Thursday, he described himself as being emotional and frustrated with the team’s medical staff.
He said the Redskins’ medical team downplayed the severity of the growth on his skull and that when he visited a Virginia hospital he received a more dire diagnosis.
“I almost lost my life. Seriously, I almost lost my life,” he said. “You're 30 and coming off seven straight Pro Bowls and a doctor tells you to get your affairs in order. It's not going to sit well with you. It still doesn't. It's a scary thing to go through. Think how you describe to your 9-year-old, your 5-year old that daddy might not be here. It's tough.”
Extracting the tumor was the only pathway even though the approach meant “losing 30 percent of my scalp,” Williams said. Radiation treatment “would have put a cap on my life. I think 15 years was the most I would have had after I started chemo. So I had to cut it out,” he said.
Williams had been hoping to play this week but failed a physical due to the discomfort with a standard helmet. Whether he sees himself playing for the Redskins again, Williams said, “We’ll see how this helmet thing turns out.”
Williams, however, made clear that he still doesn’t trust he organization and that his relationship with team president Bruce Allen is frayed.
“No, there's no trust there,” Williams said.
“This is still my team. The guys in here, I love them to death,” Williams said. “I talk to them on the daily. I watch every game, every game I could. I support them. I wouldn't support any other team. These guys are my family. I hated to see [former Redskins head coach Jay Gruden] go. I felt like, maybe I played a part in that. Maybe if I was here to help, maybe win some games, then maybe his job would still be intact. I felt that way because I personally loved Jay, I loved him as a person, so I didn't want to see him go. It's business.”
I almost lost my life. Seriously, I almost lost my life
Later Thursday, Washington released a statement saying they requested the NFL Management Council convene a joint committee with the NFL Players Association to review Williams’ medical records and the care given to him. The team said it continues to “prioritize the health and well-being of our players and staff.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.