Niners Pro-Bowl Lineman Sidelined With Knee Injury: Report

49ers cornerback Trent Williams

Getty Trent Williams #71 of the San Francisco 49ers.

The San Francisco 49ers will spend at least the next week without arguably the best player on their team.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan on Thursday, Aug. 19 explained to media members the situation with Trent Williams, the Niners’ eight-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle.

“Trent, he was going to go (in practice today),” Shanahan said. “He had a little swelling in his knee, so we drained it out. He’s going to take this week off and, hopefully, he’ll be ready for the (Raiders) week.”

Knee Swelling to Sideline Williams For Rest of The Week

Trent Williams

GettyTrent Williams, of the San Francisco 49ers, works out during training camp at SAP Performance Facility on July 30, 2021, in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Niners will take the field against the Los Angeles Chargers in the second of three preseason games on Sunday, Aug. 22. Williams will not participate in that game. He also sat out the team’s first preseason contest, a 19-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The team’s star left tackle has struggled with knee issues over the last several days. He left practice early on Monday, Aug. 16 after an issue with the troublesome joint following a hit. He was given the week off at a bare minimum.

Shanahan went on to tell reporters that he is optimistic Williams will be ready to go Week 1 when the Niners travel to Detroit to play the Lions on Sept. 12.

Williams Crucial Piece to Niners Success During Upcoming Season

Jimmy Garoppolo training camp

Getty49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo is projected to start Week 1.

Regardless of who is under center for San Francisco, having a healthy Williams protecting the blind side is going to be crucial to the Niners success this season.

The left tackle signed a $138 million contract to stay in the Bay Area back in March of this year, with $55 million of that guaranteed. He will earn every penny if he can keep the white of either Jimmy Garoppolo’s or Trey Lance’s jersey pristine through the early portion of the season, as each quarterback option comes with his own challenges.

Garoppolo has a solid starting record (22-8) with the team he captained to the Super Bowl just two seasons ago, but the veteran is injury prone. That means too many hits likely translates into too little Garoppolo on Sundays to be a real factor.

Lance has tremendous upside and a host of physical and mental skills, but he is a 21-year-old rookie who has never seen an NCAA Division I collegiate defense across the ball, let alone lined up against top NFL talent like he will face when the Niners square off against NFC West Division rivals the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks.

Williams missed the entire 2019 season after doctors removed a cancerous growth from his head. That was his final season with the Washington Football Team, where he had spent his entire career since being drafted in 2010, before moving over to the Niners.

Prior to that year, Williams was a reliable starter. He has only started all 16 games in two of his 11 seasons in the league, per Pro Football Reference. However, he has played in and started at least 10 games every season, except for 2019.

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