No. 71 was back with the Redskins on Sunday, joking with reporters about holding out for a pizza and a Pepsi, and promising the Washington Redskins would be ready for the Philadelphia Eagles in the season opener.
Unfortunately for Washington, the lineman inside the No. 71 jersey wasn’t perennial All-Pro Trent Williams.
Teammate Morgan Moses donned the absent offensive lineman’s practice jersey to add some levity to a holdout crisis that seems to get darker by the day.
Amid reports the left tackle will not play again for the Redskins — denied by the team as “100% false” — Moses sounded hopeful as he jokingly answered questions as Williams.
Asked why he held out, Moses, as Williams, ad-libbed: “Ya know, I just asked for, ya know, a couple of pizzas and a Pepsi. It didn’t work out, but ya know, I’m here now so that’s all that matters. It’s time to get ready for the Eagles Week One.”
After playing the role of Williams for a few more questions, he told reporters why he really put on No. 71.
“I miss him,” Moses said.
Moses said he does expect Williams to return eventually, though didn’t specify when. He added he didn’t know the reason that the 31-year-old is holding out, noting he supports him regardless.
Williams is the second-longest tenured player on the Redskins, behind only long snapper Nick Sundberg.
“He loves football, just like every one of us does, I am pretty sure he wants to be here,” Moses said. “Obviously he has to figure out some things and they have to figure out some things that’s above my pay grade. Once they figure that out he’ll be here. I have full confidence in the guy when he shows up, he’s going to be the best left tackle in the NFL still. He’s going to be ready to play and he’s not going to miss a beat. It’s the same offense we’ve been running the last four or five years.
“That being said, he’s an unbelievable talent in the NFL, man. There’s not too many left tackles out there doing what he does every week.”
• Matthew Paras can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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