Trevor Williams left a strong impression on Jim Schwartz in week 3

NFL: SEP 27 Bengals at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 27: Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Trevor Williams (41) breaks up a pass intended for Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate (19) in the end zone during the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Philadelphia Eagles on September 27, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

It’s been a bumpy few years for Trevor Williams. But after an offseason of yo-yoing on and off the Eagles’ roster, he was thrown into the deep end after an injury to Avonte Maddox left the Eagles light on depth. Williams did anything but disappoint and with Maddox out for a few weeks, has a perfect opportunity to prove he belongs.

The story so far

Signed right at the start of the offseason, Williams flew under the radar for many, who at that point were locked into the Darius Slay vs Byron Jones debates. Believe it or not, Trevor Williams actually ranked as PFF’s 10th best corner in 2017 and stunningly allowed a passer rating of 10.4 on throws that came 2.6+ seconds after the snap (deep attempts).

One year later, the injury bug bit and bit hard. Williams ended the 2018 season on IR due to a knee sprain suffered in week 10 after another strong year around the ball, breaking up 4 passes beforehand. In 2019, he’d end up on IR once more after enduring a quad strain as early as week 2.

When he arrived in Philadelphia, it’s not like the road softened. Without OTA’s, Williams was cut on the eve of Training Camp, ripped of a chance to compete for a roster spot. Ironically, both Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas would fail to make the roster and explore greener pastures, leaving a gaping hole in the secondary. Williams eventually returned to the practice squad and it didn’t take long for him to be called into action.

A call to arms

Avonte Maddox was pulled from the tie against Cincinnati in the third quarter after attempting to make a tackle on Tyler Boyd. In stepped a savvy 26-year-old who hadn’t played a competitive snap in over a year.

Giving up only one completion on 3 targets, Williams, took to the scheme like a duck to water and never looked back. He registered 3 tackles and a pass breakup in the process of helping to stop a Bengals offense that was starting to heat up at the worst time. In doing so, he earned glowing praise from Jim Schwartz.

“It wasn’t his first time when he had to go in and play the game. He didn’t bat an eye. He was ready.” The Eagles defensive coordinator said on Tuesday. “Probably said to himself, ‘Yeah, what took you guys so long?’ I mean that’s what you get with those guys. And he covered with confidence. He wasn’t perfect, gave up a completion, but they also tried to double-move him on one play. He played it like a veteran player, didn’t bite the cheese on a play and went out and battled.”

A unique opportunityty

There’s no specific timetable for the return of Avonte Maddox, but the CB2 spot will belong to Trevor Williams until then. With a strong debut in midnight green behind him, #41 will look to build on that and try to secure a long-term contract for the upcoming offseason, proving that he has overcome his injury setbacks and can return to that red-hot form once showed in 2017.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire