SANTA CLARA — Left tackle Trent Williams broke into the NFL in 2010, and he did not get his first taste of winning postseason football until last January.
The 49ers beat the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers in the wild-card and divisional rounds before advancing to the NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams, a game that Williams was nowhere near healthy for due to a high ankle sprain he suffered in the win over the Packers.
Williams, generally regarded as the best lineman in the game, feels as if he did not help his team that day. In fact, he looks back on his appearance as a detriment in the 49ers’ 20-17 loss to the Rams. A game in which Williams surrendered five quarterback pressures.
Looking back, he feels the 49ers would have been in better shape with backup Colton McKivitz on the field.
“Obviously, that game left a sour taste in all of our mouths, especially myself,” Williams said on Thursday. “I felt like I owed it to them to those guys to be better this year, this go-round.
“I know I couldn’t control my ankle injury, but I do think if I would’ve tapped out a little earlier, I think I would’ve given my team a better chance to come out on top.”
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As the 49ers prepare to face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game, Williams feels fortunate to get another opportunity to get to the Super Bowl.
“I still carry that with me,” he said. “I’m blessed that I can walk into this game healthy and not have any residuals from anything. Hopefully, I can play a healthy four quarters and give my team a better chance to win — better than I did last year.”