No. 1: Trent Williams’ off-year wasn’t a good thing
The 49ers’ most recent acquisition is also one of the team’s biggest wild cards: new left tackle Trent Williams.
Notably, Williams sat out last season due to a holdout over wanting to be traded out of Washington and was eventually placed on IR after reporting in late October and being diagnosed with Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans, “a soft-tissue sarcoma that develops in the deep layers of skin.”
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By all reports, Williams has been staying in shape, working out with current Niners teammates Deebo Samuel and running back Jerick McKinnon along with Redskins’ running back Adrian Peterson in Houston, Texas.
But what if Williams’ year off of football turns out to have had an impact on his ability to do what he does best: protect the quarterback and block for running backs?
While the 49ers might not yet know what they’ll do with Williams long term, if the tackle doesn’t play well during the 2020 season, it would have a negative impact on the ability of the offense to build upon its success from last year.
There may be other options on the roster who can technically fill the void if Williams is unable to be as effective as he has been throughout his career, but none of them are as good as the former Redskin is capable of playing.
But there’s no question that his playing up to his Pro Bowl and All-Pro potential is what’s best for the Niners offense. Anything less could have a negative impact on that.