Washington Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden had a pithy response when asked if he has an update on the situation concerning Pro-Bowl left tackle Trent Williams holding out.
After Williams missed last week’s mandatory mini-camp , Gruden did not address the situation directly after the team’s last voluntary practice on June 11.
Instead, when asked whether he expects Williams to report for the team’s training camp in July, Gruden responded by saying he expects everyone on the roster to report.
“If? There are a lot of ‘if’s’ that we can go over right now, but I do not have time,” Gruden said. “I do not know what is going to happen. If Dwayne Haskins isn’t there, I’ll be concerned, and if Case Keenum decides to not show up, I’ll be concerned. I expect everybody to be there, yes.”
Williams has not spoken publicly about his absence from the team. However, reporter Jason La Canfora state he is unhappy with the way the Redskins staff handled a recent medical situation. Other reports claim that Williams is holding out for a new contract.
While Gruden said he could not comment on what has kept Williams away, he did say that the left tackle had issues with the medical staff. There was a growth that was discovered on William’s scalp, which doctors removed a few months ago.
“Well, I know he’s frustrated. Anytime you have something done, a procedure like that, of that magnitude, you want to find the reason. You wish something maybe could’ve been done differently or different timing, but our doctors are very good. I know they did the best they can.”
For a team that has ambitions to win now, Williams’s absence is not a good sign. After two straight years of injuries devastating the team’s ability to compete, the potential of playing the season without a key-cog on the offensive line and one the long-time veteran leaders on the offensive line is tough for coaches and players.
Williams has been a part of the Redskins over the past nine seasons and earning seven Pro Bowl appearances in that time. His experience is a key asset for any quarterback, especially a rookie, as he protects the blindside. While newly appointed Offensive Coordinator Kevin O’Connell did not address the situation directly, he spoke about how the depth on the offensive line is a key for the upcoming season.
“[Offensive line] Coach [Bill] Callahan is the best in the business at developing offensive linemen,” O’Connell said. “Even when he had to do it and guys showing up in the building on a Tuesday and he’s coaching guys to play on a Saturday or Sunday, you know you still saw those guys progressing. And then you have the draft picks, and then hopefully there’s nothing like seeing [guard] Brandon Scherff and [tackle] Morgan Moses and hopefully Trent [Williams], eventually Chase Roullier, seeing what that starting five is going to look like, and then we can kind of think about the depth at that point.”
To add depth to its injury-plagued offensive line, the Redskins signed tackle Ereck Flowers this offseason. Flowers struggled last season with the New York Giants, and Gruden planned to move him to guard this year.
Given the absence of Williams and injury precautions keeping other linemen out of workouts, Flowers has spent most of his time at tackle in practices. It is something that Gruden said he hopes changes when training camp begins on July 25.
“Yeah, yeah we are. I think with the lack of tackles we had participating, we had to put him at tackle, and he did a good job,” Gruden said. “We did start him at guard early, and he did a good job, but I think once we get to training camp we’ll put him back at guard.”