Trent Williams has been suspended for a positive marijuana test in his career. Speaking to Master Tesfatsion of The Washington Post, the Washington Redskins left tackle opened up on why he smoked pot to begin with.
“A lot of times, it’s just for that simple reason in itself,” Williams said, per Tesfatsion. “Getting a concussion, dealing with headaches, whatever. Not saying that it was right, obviously I shouldn’t have done it and obviously should’ve chose a different method. But at that time, you’re caught up in the midst of the season and all you want to do is be available. It wasn’t the right decision, but if you’re looking for a reason, it’s just to try and feel better for the next week.”
A positive marijuana test earned Williams a four-game suspension at the end of the 2011 season. He was also suspended in 2016 but as Tesfatsion noted, that was for missing a test, not a positive one.
The NFL has recently expressed a willingness to at least explore the benefits of medical marijuana.
There are a couple ways to look at this.
One is that regardless of your views on the matter, marijuana is a banned substance. The debate as to whether it should be can take hours. But this is something that all players know. It certainly didn’t catch Williams by surprise. It’s a good thing that he’s not trying to make excuses.
On the other hand, these players endure a tremendous amount of physical pain during the course of a season. Players like Williams, who play in the trenches, are routinely asked to go one-on-one against 300 pounders who move better than anyone that big ever should. They also take hits, fall hard to the ground, and are frequently towards the bottom of piles. They’re going to get banged up. It’s that simple.
Certainly, Williams knew the rules and because of that, he’s far from a blameless victim. But it’s also hard to blame him (or anyone) for doing whatever it takes to heal up and get back into action.