Week 2 of the 2019 NFL season has come and gone, and Redskins left tackle Trent Williams remains absent from Redskins Park.
While 36-year-old Donald Penn has been serviceable in Williams’ absence, and the Redskins’ offensive line issues have surprisingly come from the other side, it’s no secret the Burgundy and Gold would like their best player back on the field.
So how did we get here? A timeline of the Trent Williams’ holdout saga.
January 24: Williams pulled out of the Pro Bowl with an undisclosed injury.
April 1: Reports surfaced that Williams dealt with a “very serious” medical issue a couple of months earlier, but seemed to be in the clear now. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that “Williams’ health issue was related to growth or tumor on his head that had doctors worried it was malignant. Williams had the growth removed and at this point, should be unaffected once he recovers.”
June 4: The left tackle does not show up on the Redskins’ first day of minicamp. Initial reports were that Williams either wanted a new contract or a trade. This was the first time the public became aware of Williams’ unhappiness.
June 5: CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported that Williams’ absence from minicamp was due to frustration of how the organization handled an injury diagnosis and wanted to be traded or released. Adrian Peterson, the left tackle’s good friend, was surprised by Williams’ frustration.
June 5: After reports swirled that Williams “vowed” to never play for the Redskins again, head coach Jay Gruden was asked whether he believed Trent would return to the Redskins. His response was not convincing. “I sure hope so,” Gruden said.
June 7: Redskins team president Bruce Allen speaks with Williams. While the actual reason for Williams’ holdout had yet to be revealed, Allen stated that “I know what the truth is.”
June 13: Williams shared an Instagram story of what looked like him undergoing another medical procedure. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport called the surgery “clean up the area where the original scar was. Not considered major, not related to a setback.”
July 22: Reports come out that Williams will not report to training camp with the rest of his teammates. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that it could be “quite a while” before Trent returns to the Redskins. The left tackle had yet to stay anything publicly regarding the situation.
July 24: On the first day of training camp, Gruden tells the media the Redskins “expect him here sooner [rather] than later.” Gruden continued: “Right now there are some things that he has to work out individually and personally – with his agent, professionally – whatever that may be. I don’t take anything personal in this business, for sure. I love Trent, I love what he has done for this franchise and this team, but we expect him back soon.”
July 26: Washington works out two free-agent left tackles: Corey Robinson and Donald Penn.
July 27: The Redskins sign left tackle Corey Robinson and place Williams on the reserve/did not report list. The team is still interested in signing Penn, too.
July 28: The relationship between Williams and the Redskins is “totally fractured,” according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora. One unnamed Redskins’ front office member told NBC Sports Washington: “We want Trent, but Trent’s got to want us too.”
July 28: The Redskins senior vice president of communications, Tony Wyllie, claimed that the report from La Canfora about a fractured relationship is “100 percent false.”
July 28: Right tackle Morgan Moses shows support for Trent, sporting a No. 71 practice jersey at his press conference. “I expect him to come back,” Moses said. “I am pretty sure he wants to be here.”
July 28: Williams also received support from linebacker and longtime teammate Ryan Kerrigan. “From a contractual standpoint I 100-percent support him,” Kerrigan said. “Whenever its the team or a coach making a business decision its a business decision, but when a player is doing it, he’s being ‘selfish’.”
July 30: La Canfora tells The Fan DC he expects Williams to force a trade. “I think he’s prepared to force a trade or find a way to take his talent elsewhere,” he said.
July 30: With Trent continuing his holdout, the Redskins sign left tackle Donald Penn. He had previously worked out for the team the week prior.
July 31: The Redskins are “gauging interest” around the NFL about possibly trading Trent Williams.
July 31: Donald Penn tells the media that he sought advice from Trent before signing with the Redskins. “Trent’s one of my good friends,” Penn said. “I reached out to Trent before I signed. We had a good conversation and we talked. We’re on the same page.” He insisted that his conversation with No. 71 would remain private, however.
August 3: Gruden dismisses the idea of trading Williams. “I would seriously doubt that,” Gruden said.
August 8: Reports swirl that Trent Williams is fine with missing regular-season games and will not play for Redskins, ‘period.’
August 12: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Redskins refuse to engage in any trade talks for Williams.
August 13: Adrian Peterson admits that Trent’s absence has impacted the Redskins tremendously, and is even slowing down the development of the quarterbacks. He also added, “I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes back, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t.”
August 13: While the Redskins still have zero intent to trade Williams, that hasn’t stopped other teams from calling. Three teams, including the New England Patriots, have inquired about a trade for No. 71.
August 13: Adrian Peterson tells the media he “shot [his] shot,” trying to get Williams to return. “I know how Trent is, so I just left it alone,” he said. “After we talked that first time about it, I wasn’t going to be the guy that was going to pester him or anything like that… I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t come back, and if he did, I wouldn’t be surprised. That’s honestly where I sit.”
August 19: When asked for an update on the situation, Gruden had nothing to offer. “There are no updates whatsoever,” he said. “We’re preparing with the guys we have right now. That’s all we can do.”
August 22: The Redskins reportedly turned down a trade offer from the Patriots. New England offered a first-round pick for Williams.
August 26: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that after several surgeries, Williams is “healthy and ready to play. For someone.”
August 28: In a sit-down interview with The Athletic, team president Bruce Allen says “I think Trent is going to play football.” When asked if that would be with another team, Allen immediately shot that down. “NO, it’ll be with us,” he said.
August 29: On Hail to the Podcast, former Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall said that Williams told him, “‘There’s zero chance I’ll be in that building next week.'”
September 2: Gruden tells the media he has “no expectations whatsoever anymore.” He continued: “I’m kind of numb to the fact so we’re just going to coach the guys that we have; that’s all that we can do right now.”
September 3: Hall circles back on his previous comments, saying Williams could return to the Redskins “sooner rather than later.”
September 3: On the latest Hail to the Podcast, Hall shares a segment where Bruce Allen asked Trent: “tell me who to fire and I’ll fire them,” in regard to the medical staff. Williams responded with “I don’t want to cost nobody their job. I don’t want to put anybody’s livelihood in my hands.”
September 5: Peterson tells the media that Williams is in the D.C. area and that the running back had recently spoken to Trent in person. “He had to come back to take care of some things,” Peterson said. “I don’t know how long he’s going to be in town.”
September 8: The Redskins travel to Philadelphia for their Week 1 matchup. Williams remains away from the team.
September 9: Morgan Moses tells The Sports Junkies that there’s a ’50-50′ chance Williams comes back this week. “I know one thing is he’s in the best shape he’s ever been he’s told me,” Moses said.
September 11: Peterson tells NBC Sports Washington that him being named the starting running back doesn’t affect Trent’s return.
September 15: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Williams has racked up almost $1.9 million in fines, and Washington does not plan to forgive them.
September 15: Williams misses the Redskins second game of the season vs. Dallas.
So here we are. As the Redskins gear up for their Week 3 Monday Night Football clash vs. the Chicago Bears, Williams has shown no signs of returning. What the next step is in the saga has yet to be seen.