Lions rookie WR Jameson Williams set to make NFL debut Sunday

DETROIT — Detroit Lions rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams will make his NFL debut against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday after being activated from the non-football injury list on Saturday.

Williams, number 12 overall in the 2022 draft, reported for the first time in practice before the Thanksgiving game after tearing his cruciate ligament in Alabama in January. This week he participated in his first full week of action before the team made the final decision on his availability.

“I wouldn’t say I’m feeling rusty, I’m getting back on my feet. I’ve been running around for a little minute now,” Williams said. “So I’m just back with the team. I wouldn’t say I feel rusty.”

Williams benefited from staying close to the team throughout his recovery process. After Thursday’s practice, he says he’s “somewhere close” to being back in full swing.

“I’m running really fast right now. I feel very fast,” Williams said. “I feel good.”

The Lions organization remained patient throughout the process of his recovery. Head coach Dan Campbell and the staff were careful not to force him back onto the field.

On his first day of practice, Williams first began running the pass tree routes with former practice team quarterback Tim Boyle after a team walk-through on Monday, November 21.

“Very smooth and extremely fast. Really good in and out of breaks, ran really sharp stretches,” Boyle told ESPN. “It was definitely good to see him. You could tell he was excited to be back out there. He was kinda holding back his little grin.”

The team then had him participate in drills this week with some individual one-on-one work and scout team reps to add more load. Campbell said he looks better every day.

“It was just about getting his legs under him,” Campbell said.

After seeing Williams in practice, Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and quarterback Jared Goff said his speed was the first thing that caught their eye.

“Honestly, I was more impressed with everything – once he gets between those white lines, his behavior is all about football,” Johnson said. “That’s what we thought when we called him up in the spring, and it turned out to be true. The guy loves the game and you can just see how bright he is and he’s all about the ball.”

He’s worked hard to develop chemistry with Goff through constant communication and practicing reps trying to get him used to offense as quickly as possible. His teammates are excited to see what he can finally bring to the table.

“I mean [former Rams WR] Brandin Cooks is probably the fastest guy I’ve ever played with and it’s a different kind of speed and again I haven’t seen him play in a real game but he’s longer,” Goff said of Williams and his speed.” He’s a stride guy. He has length. He has wingspan.

“Brandin was more of a burner and did well for a long time, but Jameson, he can count on guys,” he said. “He can really do catches off his body, stuff like that. And we’ll see how much he can help us over the next six games, but certainly as a quarterback you want him on the field as soon as possible.” Lions rookie WR Jameson Williams set to make NFL debut Sunday

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