This week, the Washington Redskins fan base learned that four time pro bowler Trent Williams would be suspended four games for violating the NFL substance abuse policy. Williams suspension comes not as a failed drug test, but a missed drug test. A missed drug test results in the same terms as a failed one, a four game suspension.
Williams, 28, is a co-captain and a veteran leader for the Redskins. As a co-captain, he’s held accountable at a much higher level. A captain by definition leads. A suspension can never come at a good time, but for the Redskins, it couldn’t come at worse time.
The Redskins sit at 4-3-1. They are last in the NFC East division, so they have an uphill battle ahead of them. Four of their final eight games will take place without arguable their most irreplaceable offensive player. The Redskins are going to be facing top tier teams such as the Vikings, Packers, Cowboys, and the Cardinals. Not only will the Redskins be without Williams talents, they will also be without his leadership.
Oct 4, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins tackle Trent Williams (71) prepares to block Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Brandon Graham (55) during the second half at FedEx Field. Washington Redskins won 23 – 20. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Williams is a detrimental loss, but it’s also important to have realize that he is human and capable of mistakes. His last mistake occurred in 2011, and maybe he had a lapse in judgement. It’s human flaw, and we’re all capable of such.
Williams will be missed. But it’s just as important for him to get back on track on a personal level.
Williams flaw will not only cost the team, but also his pockets, as he stand to lose $1.68 million of his $6.75 million base salary for 2016.
With Williams absence the Redskins will depend on Ty Nsekhe to protect Kirk Cousins blind side. To say that Nsekhe has big shoes to fill is quite the understatement.
Players in the locker room and fans alike love the toughness and leadership qualities Williams possess. Last week heading in the Bengals game Williams had this to say, per ESPN’s John Keim.
A lot of people depend on me to be out there. The front office made a commitment to me contractually [in 2015]. It’s my duty to play through those little nicks and bruises. If I could at all offer them even just 80 percent of me, it’s my obligation to be out there. This is what I love to do. I want to leave a legacy more than anything. You can’t do that by sitting on the sidelines.
The sidelines, sadly, is where Williams will be for the next four weeks.
Mistakes happen to the best of us. That’s a given. But if Williams wants to leave a lasting legacy as “The Captain” his actions will have to speak louder than words.