Redskins All-Pro describes cancer scare: ‘I almost lost my life’

ASHBURN, Va. — One of the Redskins best players returned to the locker room on Tuesday, ending his season-long holdout. But fans should not expect to see Trent Williams on the field anytime soon.

Williams met with reporters on Thursday, and went into detail about the mysterious health scare that has been at the center of his discontent with the Redskins organization.

Williams said he has been diagnosed with Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP) which is a rare cancer of the soft tissue deep within the skin. According to sarcomahelp.org, “it is sometimes described as having tentacles that can grow into surrounding fat, muscle and even bone. There are about 1,000 cases diagnosed in the United States each year, with an incidence of about 1-5 people per million. The tumors affect black patients about twice as much as white patients.”

Trent Williams #71 of the Washington Redskins walks off the field at the end of the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles on December 26, 2015 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Trent Williams #71 of the Washington Redskins walks off the field at the end of the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles on December 26, 2015 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Williams went to team doctors with a question about part of his scalp six years ago, but was told it was a “minor condition,” so he continued to play. But the growth got bigger to the point where he sought an outside medical opinion earlier this year and was given a much different diagnosis.

“I had cancer,” Williams said to reporters.  “I had a tumor removed. It got pretty serious for a second. I was told some scary things by the doctor.”

Williams also said doctors told him to “get his affairs in order” and that he was just weeks away from the cancer reaching his skull and brain.

He had surgery over the winter to remove the growth and required over 300 stitches and 75 staples to close the incision. His scalp is still sensitive from the procedure and as a result, wearing a helmet causes significant discomfort. Subsequently, because he can’t yet wear a helmet, he failed his physical and cannot yet even practice with the team.

He spent two weeks recovering in a Chicago hospital, and while team owner Daniel Snyder allowed Williams to use his private jet to fly there for the surgery, no one from the Redskins organization visited him during his hospital stay, except for former teammate DeAngelo Hall.

Trent Williams #71 of the Washington Redskins celebrates after beating the Philadelphia Eagles 23-20 at FedExField on October 4, 2015 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Evan Habeeb/Getty Images)

Trent Williams #71 of the Washington Redskins celebrates after beating the Philadelphia Eagles 23-20 at FedExField on October 4, 2015 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Evan Habeeb/Getty Images)

Williams admitted he has no trust at all for the Redskins organization but that he does have a good relationship with Snyder.

“I love him to death,” Williams said of Snyder. “I don’t look at it being his fault.”

But when asked about his future relationship with team president Bruce Allen, Williams simply responded “Next question”.

Later Thursday night, the team released the following statement about Williams and his medical treatment:

“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.”  

Williams is not likely to ever play for the Redskins again, but he’s not done with the NFL.

“I still love it,” he said. “But I just feel like things could’ve gotten handled a lot better. Obviously, it got us to this point.”

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