Sometimes just stepping onto the playing field is reason enough for some celebration.
Having traveled a most arduous road to finally arrive at Sunday’s season opener in Santa Clara with the San Francisco 49ers, All-Pro tackle Trent Williams is ecstatic about the prospects of playing once again.
“It’s probably the first thing on my mind when I get up and the last thing on my mind when I go to sleep,” Williams said, via the Associated Press. “There’s a lot of things to think about when it comes to me thinking about this opener. It’s on my mind constantly. I’m excited that I’m back in this position where I can just think about football. I’m blessed to be in this position. I just plan on taking advantage of it.”
Williams is set to play his first football game since Dec. 30, 2018 when he was wrapping up his seventh straight Pro Bowl season for Washington.
Now, he has his fresh start after a long road out of Washington.
Williams was the definition of disgruntled in Washington. He didn’t play for the entirety of the 2019 campaign amid a dispute with the front office. In November, he revealed he had cancer and had no trust in the team medical staff after he said he was misdiagnosed.
While Washington has taken on a massive overhaul, Williams has moved on as well.
As he looks forward, many are interested to see if he’s still the dominant talent he was seasons ago.
Many accounts from training camp and ballyhooed battles with Nick Bosa say he is.
He’ll have to prove it from the jump as he’ll have to stop the Cardinals’ Chandler Jones, one of the elite pass rushers in the game.
“Me and him have had some epic battles and we went back and forth a few times,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of tape for me to study on me and him and our matchups. I didn’t waste any time. I just started to go over and look at it again. It’s frustrating because he’s a rusher with it all. So no matter how much you study, there’s still that X-factor that he can get you on. That’s what makes him so good.”
The 49ers, the reigning NFC champs, are facing the Cardinals, who are brimming with hype and hope. And Williams vs. Jones is a scintillating showdown.
But for this one, there’s at least a little to celebrate upon the game’s onset, as Williams will make his long-awaited return.