Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Trent Williams calls last week’s COVID-19 situation ‘a nightmare,’ feels 49ers were ‘screwed’

Nov 13, 2020 at 11:06 AM--

Trent Williams was frustrated as he watched his San Francisco 49ers teammates struggle in last week's game against the Green Bay Packers. The starting left tackle was supposed to be playing. He entered the week like any other, assuming he would be anchoring the 49ers offensive line.

Then wide receiver Kendrick Bourne tested positive for COVID-19.

Contact tracing identified Williams and two others as individuals who had been close enough to Bourne that they might have contracted the highly-contagious virus. Because the game was on a Thursday, Williams did not have enough time to pass two COVID-19 tests and be cleared to play.

"It was a nightmare, man. It was a nightmare," Williams told KNBR's Mark Willard on Thursday night. "It's one of them things, I think, as football players, we always -- I know I have, and I've talked to several people -- we always have that dream where you're like late to a game, where you missed the first half of the game, where you overslept the game. That's exactly how I felt.

"Watching it on TV, to me, there was no reason why I shouldn't have been there. It felt like a dream. I get the NFL has their protocols, but to hold guys out who haven't tested positive, and close contact, that's a whole long story of how they came up with that."

The Packers easily handled the injury-ravaged 49ers to the tune of 34-17. Forcing several others to sit out the game didn't help the already undermanned unit.

"I understand it," Williams continued. "It's just when it happens to you, of course, you're not going to be the best sport about it. I get it. I understand why the precautions are in place. COVID is serious.

"All of it, I think it screwed our team over. We've just got to understand that's how the NFL is kind of handling it right now."

Because of the short week, Williams and the others had already started the more intensified workload to prepare for the Packers. To have that halt, all of a sudden, was devastating.

"To do all of that work and to be told at the 11th hour that you can't play because of technicalities, I mean, that was kind of crushing to me," Williams admits. "That was kind of uncharted territory for me, as well.

"I probably could have handled it a little better emotionally, but it sucks. I did a lot of work to be able to go out there and play with my teammates. I didn't see why I shouldn't be able to."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Williams below.

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