But being on the precipice of playing in the title game is a major win for Williams, who five years ago questioned if he'd be able to play football again.
Back then, as a member of the Washington Commanders, Williams learned he had a soft tissue sarcoma called Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP), a cancerous growth on his scalp, that he eventually had to have surgically removed.
"I've definitely taken it in," Williams said via ESPN. "I'm continuing to take it in. I'm just thanking God every day because this is what you dream of, it's what you pray for, it's what you grind for. A lot of countless hours spent in the lab trying to perfect my craft and get better just to get an opportunity to get to this stage. So I'm very grateful being here, and I'm taking in every second."
The fallout from the way the Commanders handled the situation ultimately led Williams to skipping training camp that offseason, demanding to be traded or released and saying he would "never be a Redskin again," on Nov. 15, 2019.
Washington eventually dealt the perennial Pro Bowler to San Francisco on April 25, 2020, for a fifth-round pick in that year's draft and a third-rounder in 2021.
After reconnecting with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and offensive line coach Chris Foerster, who both coached Williams in Washington, the now 35-year-old experienced a renaissance. Williams has gone to the Pro Bowl in every season he's been with San Francisco (2020-2023) to bring his career total up to 11, and finally received the first of three consecutive All-Pro selections in 2021.
One of the last frontiers for Williams is winning a Super Bowl. General manager John Lynch agrees that even though Williams is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, it's a feather every player wants in his cap, especially someone of Williams' caliber.
"I don't like talking about Hall of Fame-type stuff with players," Lynch told ESPN. "He's a guy I'm not shy about doing that because he'll be there and he should be there first ballot. Nothing would help to cement that more than a win in this game."
It's what motivated Williams to return to the 49ers after flirting with the idea of retirement, which he said he's not planning to do at the conclusion of this season, either. Right now, he simply wants to help San Francisco avenge its previous loss to the Chiefs in the Super Bowl and hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
"It would be like one of those fairy tales," Williams said. "It's like something you can only dream about. It's hard to even describe what that feeling would be like because I've never felt that feeling before. But I imagine it would be a memory that we would remember for life."