49ers' COVID-19 situation was 'nightmare' for Trent Williams


49ers left tackle Trent Williams never tested positive for the coronavirus last week, but he still was forced to sit out the game against the Green Bay Packers.

Such is life in the NFL during a global pandemic. If you come into close contact with someone who did test positive, you must go on the same Reserve/COVID-19 list.

Williams and wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel all were in the vicinity of Kendrick Bourne, who did test positive for the virus, so they all missed the 49ers' 34-17 loss to the Packers.

For Williams, the thought of missing a game even though he didn't contract the virus was tough to swallow.

"It was a nightmare, man," Williams said while appearing on KNBR's "Mark Willard Show" on Thursday (H/T 49ers Webzone). "It was a nightmare. 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."

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Instead of playing at Levi's Stadium, Williams had to watch the game from home, and that just didn't sit well with him.


"Watching it on TV, to me, there was no reason why I shouldn't have been there," Williams said. "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 good news for Williams, Aiyuk and Samuel is that they were activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Nov. 6, a day after the loss to the Packers.

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Bourne also was activated that day, but he was placed back on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday. He was just cleared to practice Friday and will be available Sunday when the 49ers take on the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome.

For now, Williams' nightmare is over. But the pandemic is raging all over the country, so the 49ers need to follow the protocols in order to avoid more players missing time.