In an interview with ESPN’s Josina Anderson, running back Adrian Peterson said the ongoing absence of the star left tackle is hurting the entire operation.
“Since Day 1 of camp you notice his absence is impacting us tremendously,” All Day told Anderson. “You go from not having to worry about the blindside at all, to having to chip on that side, add a TE there which changes what you do.”
Williams is among the best left tackles in the entire league. He’s an irreplaceable presence along the Redskins‘ line. During Washington’s preseason opener, the O-line woes without Williams were on full display. Starter Case Keenum got destroyed repeatedly, and rookie Dwayne Haskins was under constant pressure as well behind a reshuffled backup line.
Peterson noted that Williams’ absence is hindering the rookie’s development and the QB competition in general.
“I think it’s making Dwayne Haskins have to think more, not process things as calmly,” Peterson said. “Matter of fact, I think it’s impacting all of our QBs. Guys are coming off the edge in practice right there on the QB and the RB. It’s been a struggle.”
A good offensive line is a quarterback’s best friend, especially a rookie quarterback. Right now, Washington’s is a muddled mess without Williams.
The left tackle’s holdout stems in part to an offseason procedure in which he had a growth on his head removed. The veteran tackle believes the team medical staff should have caught the growth sooner. Williams also wants a pay bump, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo previously reported.
It’s been reported that Williams doesn’t want to play for the Redskins again and has demanded a trade, but Washington has reportedly rebuffed all calls for one of the best left tackles in the NFL. Watching the Redskins‘ line function without Williams it’s obvious why Washington will be reluctant to trade him.
At this point, the staring contest continues and could last a while longer.
Asked by Anderson if Williams’ mind could be changed once he’s made it, Peterson replied “no.”
However the running back added: “He’s the best and most athletic LT in the game, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes back, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t.”
Peterson’s wavering underscores the muddled nature of the current situation in Washington. There is no questioning that the Redskins will be in a tenuous spot unless Williams eventually returns.