Trent Williams reveals cancer; 'Skins request review

Print
  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
More Columns >

Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams told reporters Thursday that he had a cancerous growth removed from his head that had gone undiagnosed for roughly six years.

Speaking from the Redskins locker room two days after rejoining the team after a season-long holdout, Williams spoke at length over his medical issues and his claim that the growth was misdiagnosed by the Redskins medical staff.

"You know, I guess, somebody took the time and actually realized and tried to see what was really going on there," Williams explained. "Football's more important. And I mean to me it was more important, too. I was told it was something minor, so I didn't really question them. I mean, the lump continued to grow over the years. It was concerning, but it was no pain involved. You know, if I'm being told by the very people who, you know, I put my career in the hands of telling me I'm fine, then I'm fine. That's how I looked at it."

The Redskins released the following statement Thursday night, asking for a review of Williams' medical records and care.

"The Washington Redskins have requested that the NFL's Management Council convene a joint committee with the NFLPA to review the medical records and the medical care given to Trent Williams. We have requested this review under the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement that provides for an independent third party review of any NFL player's medical care. The Redskins continue to prioritize the health and well-being of our players and staff. Due to healthcare and privacy regulations, we are unable to comment further at this time. We look forward to the joint committee's results."

NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said there will be an NFL and NFLPA joint investigation into the claims.

"The NFL and the union will each select an unaffiliated doctor, and those two doctors will select a third doctor to evaluate the situation," NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed. "They will review the player and club medical records and the medical records of the second opinions, which were paid for by the team as said in the CBA. The panel will conduct the investigation, then submit a report to the joint NFL-NFLPA committee and then based on that they will offer recommendations of discipline or any other conclusions. There is no time frame, but it should be weeks before it's resolved."

It wasn't until this past offseason, Williams said, that he got the Redskins "to finally look at it" believing the issue was a cyst. Once the growth was removed, Williams discovered it was actually a rare form of soft-tissue cancer.

"When they did, they found out it wasn't a cyst, it was a piece of a tumor," said Williams. "It was DFSP (Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans), is what the cancer is called. Very rare soft-tissue cancer. They realized it was that. Obviously, five years later it grew substantially than what it was when I first brought it."

According to The Washington Post, Williams said the growth was removed weeks before it would have reached his brain and become life threatening. Williams added that he will need to get checked every six months to make sure the growth does not return.

Williams, who was subject to trade speculation throughout the season and up to Tuesday's deadline for deals, returned to the team this week but has yet to practice after not passing his physical due to discomfort with his helmet.

Print