Suspended for repeated violations of the league's drug abuse policy that he still disputes based on alleged errors made by NFL Players' Association lawyers, Williams couldn't practice, couldn't play and couldn't attend games.
"It was anger," Williams said. "A lot of anger, a lot of disappointment. But time heals everything."
Williams refused to discuss specifics of his suspension or if he still has any recourse to recover money lost for missed paychecks and fines. It's too late for the Redskins anyway. They missed their star left tackle for four games and went 2-2 with wins over Green Bay and Minnesota and losses to Dallas and Arizona. Williams returns to action this Sunday against Philadelphia.
Williams' return comes at a desperate time. Left guard Shawn Lauvao (groin) played hurt from the opening drive in the Arizona game on Sunday and didn't practice on Wednesday. Center Spencer Long (concussion) wasn't at practice at all Wednesday. Kory Lichtensteiger was designated to return from injured reserve to provide a backup to center John Sullivan in the likely event Long can't play.
Also, Ty Nsekhe - who played well in place of Williams for four games at left tackle - didn't practice on Wednesday with a lingering ankle injury.
"It's great to get Trent back under any circumstances, but when so many people are banged up, it's a real needed shot in the arm," quarterback Kirk Cousins said. "Glad to have one of our best players back and I know he's ready to go and love to see his urgency and excitement coming back."
Williams tried to stay engaged when he was suspended. He continued to hold weekly dinners for some teammates every Thursday. That was a "great stress reliever" for him. He attended team meetings, took notes on that week's opponent, worked out in the weight room and added muscle usually lost during the rigors of season. But when the Redskins played, Williams said he would lock himself in a room and watch alone to better deal with the anxiety of not playing and probing questions from family and friends.
"I'm just grateful to be back. It's the little things you take for granted," Williams said. "Just going out and practicing every day, it kind of gets monotonous during the season, but when you can't go, you understand what you're missing.
SERIES HISTORY: 163rd regular-season meeting. Redskins lead series 84-73-5. A win would give them five consecutive wins over Philadelphia for the first time since a six-game streak between 1981 and 1984. The Redskins won 27-20 at FedEx Field on Oct. 16.
--A difficult rookie season for Redskins rookie wide receiver Josh Doctson is over.
Washington designated center Kory Lichtensteiger to return from injured reserve on Wednesday. NFL teams are allowed to bring back just one player from IR per season under a revised rule.
That means Doctson, who has been on IR since Oct. 21 with chronic tendinitis in his sore left Achilles tendon, won't be back. He was eligible to return for the final two games of the regular season.
"It is disappointing for all of us," Washington coach Jay Gruden said. "We had high hopes for him coming out of TCU and the talent that he has and he's disappointed, but these things happen."
Doctson was the Redskins' first-round draft pick in 2016 after a stellar college career at TCU. At 6-foot-2, 206 pounds he had the size that Washington was missing at wide receiver.
But Doctson began experiencing pain in his Achilles tendon and did not practice after May 25 at either OTAs or minicamp. He began training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and wasn't activated until just before the season and played 31 snaps the first two weeks with just two receptions before the Achilles' pain flared up again. Doctson was inactive for another four games before being placed on IR.