What began as a bad dream has morphed into an all-out night terror for the Washington Redskins.
As the team readies to host the Cincinnati Bengals in the second game of the preseason, they’ll do so without longtime left tackle Trent Williams — still locked in a holdout situation with the All-Pro. Williams cites a rabid mistrust of the training staff for his refusal to report to training camp, going so far as to reportedly demand a trade. He’s so dug in with his stance that he’s not taking any calls from the Redskins and hasn’t for a long time now, but general manager Bruce Allen refuses to cave, and head coach Jay Gruden openly disputes any claims the team has held discussions on the topic.
To truly drive that point home, the Redskins have reportedly received calls from “several teams” interested in acquiring Williams — per Adam Schefter of ESPN — but have rebuffed every single attempt. Despite the organization’s willingness to instead threaten the 31-year-old with , but that gesture appears to have the opposite effect, with Williams digging his heels in deeper and showing .
The situation has reached critical mass, and players like veteran running back Adrian Peterson can’t hold his tongue any longer.
“Since Day 1 of camp, you notice his absence is impacting us tremendously,” the future Hall of Famer said, via Josina Anderson of ESPN. “You go from not having to worry about the blind-side at all, to having to chip on that side, add a TE there which changes what you do.”
Peterson says that above all, it’s hampering the progress of rookie first-round pick Dwayne Haskins.
“I think it it’s making Dwayne Haskins have to think more, [and] not process things as calmly,” Peterson noted, before expanding upon his point. “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.”
Does Peterson believe the severely fractured relationship can ultimately be repaired, though?
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes back, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t,” he said.
That certainly … er … um … clears things up.
Until/unless Williams does finally report, the Redskins are hoping the acquisition of Donald Penn will help fill the void, but they’re still admittedly without a clue as to how the remainder of the offensive line will shape up. Head coach Jay Gruden said he’s looking for “flexibility” from players like Ereck Flowers, Hugh Thornton and Wes Martin, as the club tries to figure out who would best protect Haskins and Case Keenum — the latter landing with the Redskins via trade this offseason.
To Peterson’s point, the bigger impact would be on the progression of Haskins, considering the amount of pressure on him to start making an impact fairly soon, and how challenging the learning curve is for a first-year signal-caller.
The Redskins better figure it all out quickly, because players like Peterson do not like what they’re seeing on the field.