49ers’ Trent Williams admits playing in the NFC Championship may have been a mistake


Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

It was the biggest game of veteran offensive lineman Trent Williams’ career. His San Francisco 49ers were one win away from a Super Bowl appearance. The tackle was dealing with a significant injury, though. Williams sustained a Grade 2 high-ankle sprain in the previous playoff game, a matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Nevertheless, after not practicing in the week leading to the game, he willed his way onto the football field for that NFC title game against the Los Angeles Rams, even though he only had one good leg.

In hindsight, that probably wasn’t the best course of action.

The offensive lineman admitted that the ankle injury ranked as the worst he has sustained over his career.

“I really had no business out there,” Williams shared. “It’s so hard for me not to be out there, knowing the position we were in and what we were trying to accomplish. But looking back on it, I probably shouldn’t have pushed it that far. I think [Colton McKivitz] would have did a better job on two healthy ankles than I could have did on one.

“And hindsight is 20/20, of course. But it was hard for me to tell my teammates no at the time, but looking back on it, I think I probably pushed it a little too far.”

In that playoff matchup against the Rams, the injured Williams earned his lowest overall Pro Football Focus grade of the season — 52.5. It was his lowest grade since Week 17 of 2018 (38.0).

Williams admits that his ankle didn’t feel back to normal until April, about a week before the draft. This week is his first back with the 49ers as the team kicked off its mandatory minicamp.

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