ASHBURN, Va. -- Before practice, Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden spotted an unusual sight, at least in recent weeks: left tackle Trent Williams stretching. So Gruden walked over, and greeted him with a loud, “Heyyyy!”
No doubt, Williams just being on the field wearing his white No. 71 jersey was a sight for sore eyes. It was only his second practice since Week 4 and first since Oct. 21. But the Redskins still don’t know if he’ll be able to play against Minnesota on Sunday.
Williams was among 12 players listed as questionable with two others already declared out: defensive linemen Matt Ioannidis (hand) and Arthur Jones (shoulder). The other 11 listed as questionable: receiver Jamison Crowder (hamstring), guard Shawn Lauvao (stinger), center Spencer Long (knee/quad), tackle Morgan Moses (ankles), tackle Ty Nsekhe (core muscle), safety Montae Nicholson (shoulder), tight end Niles Paul (concussion), receiver Brian Quick (concussion), tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring), guard Brandon Scherff (knee) and linebacker Zach Brown (ankle).
Reed did not practice Friday after being limited Thursday. Coach Jay Gruden said they wanted to give him another day of rest and re-evaluate him over the weekend. Reed missed last week with a hamstring injury, as well. Crowder, who also missed with a hamstring, practiced and said Thursday that he will play.
The Redskins have been hopeful that if Williams doesn’t return that three other starters -- all of whom missed the last two weeks -- will. But they’re keeping 11 offensive linemen on the active roster just in case.
Williams has missed the last two games because of multiple issues with his knee. He has ligament damage that likely will require surgery at some point. But he also has a bone bruise that has made playing more difficult.
“I feel better than the last couple weeks, but it’s still some uncertainty there,” Williams said. “It’s going to be a game-time decision.”
Williams said he wanted to test his knee to see what sort of lateral movement he had and could withstand.
“It’s constantly hurting while moving around,” Williams said. “Walking around, there’s not much discomfort in that but after being on it and playing football the next day it’s pretty achy.”
Just seeing him on the field led to smiles for the coaches.
“It was nice to see him put his helmet on for the first time in a while,” Gruden said, “and have the jersey put on over his shoulders. Wanted to make sure it still fit. The big thing is, he has to feel comfortable enough we can be effective. He’s played at such a high level his whole career, with the pain he has been having, he just doesn’t feel like himself. If he feels he can go, I’m sure he will go. He’s the toughest guy on this team.”
Williams called Friday a chance to measure where he’s at with his game. Because he’s missed two games and hasn’t practiced a lot in the last month, he’s not as sharp physically.
“Rust, yeah, I guess you could say that,” Williams said. “I haven’t been away from the game; I’ve been going through it in my mind. So there’s not as much rust mentally but physically when you get back moving around you’ve got to knock off a little rust.”