Lions’ WR Jameson Williams called a ‘superstar’ by a teammate before he takes first NFL snap

ALLEN PARK — Lions rookie wide receiver Jameson Wiliams hasn’t taken one snap in an NFL game and already one of his teammates calls him a superstar.

“I think we’re all excited, man. The excitement that you guys feel, that we feel, is real. I definitely believe he’s a superstar,’’ wide receiver D.J. Chark said on Thursday. “Anything I can do to help a guy like that, I’m here and he knows that with all the receivers in the room.’’

Williams, a first-round draft pick, tore his ACL in the national championship game in January. The Lions drafted him with the 12th overall pick. He was activated from injured reserve last week and had his second full practice with the team on Thursday.

“It felt real good, I’m feeling good, feeling back to myself. I got a chance to get out there and get some routes, run some plays with the team, do a little bit,’’ Williams said after Thursday’s practice. “I’m feeling real good right now.’’

Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said the key to getting Williams into a game is his chemistry with quarterback Jared Goff. 

“I feel like it’s coming along very well. Me and Goff we’ve been talking a lot over like what would happen on this play if I was in, what would this be like,’’ Williams said. “So I think it will be good. I feel like it will take some time but it will be good for sure.’’

Coach Dan Campbell said on Monday it would be “a tall order” for Williams to play on Sunday against the Jaguars. No one has ruled it out, but it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll be making his debut this week.

“It’s really not my decision. When it comes down to it I’ll probably know when you all find out,’’ Williams told the media.

Even though he hasn’t played football for nearly a year, he said he does not feel rusty. “I’ve been running around for a little minute now,’’ said Williams.

Campbell, Johnson and Goff have all commented on his speed.

Is he full speed? “Somewhere close to it, I’m running real fast right now,’’ Williams said.

Chark said he’s seen what everyone else has.

“He’s fast. One thing about him a lot of guys don’t have is the confidence in himself to go out and make the play,’’ Chark said. “If you have that, that’s half the battle. If you believe you can make the play, you will make the play. I feel like he has that.’’

Getting back on the practice field was a huge step for Williams who has a three-week window to be activated for a game.

“As soon as he’s on the field that’s going to be great for all of us, we all benefit from that. This team benefits from that,’’ Chark said. “He’s got a bright future and hopefully it’s all here.’’

Lions notes: Jameson Williams unlikely to play Sunday; injury update

ALLEN PARK — While Lions rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams and veteran defensive end Romeo Okwara are back on the practice field, don’t expect either one to play on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ford Field.

“I don’t want to say it wouldn’t happen, but it would take a lot this week to feel good about bringing them up,’’ coach Dan Campbell said on Monday.

Both have a three-week window to return to action. It started last week when they came off injured reserve. Williams, a Lions first-round pick, tore his ACL in the national championship game in January, while Okwara tore his Achilles in Week 4 of last season.

Because of the quick turnaround for the Thanksgiving game, practice last week was limited to walk-throughs. This week they’ll be able to get Williams — who obviously has never played in an NFL game — more involved.

“We will really give him a look against somebody covering him. We’ll get some one-on-one work with him, he’ll get team work, he’ll run scout cards. So all of that will be good for him,’’ Campbell said.

Williams could add another dimension to the Lions offense using his speed.  “He can run,’’ Campbell said.

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Campbell said heading into Sunday, he’s telling the team to focus on the Jaguars and nothing else. The Lions (4-7) were disappointed with a last-minute loss to the Bills on Thanksgiving which snapped a three-game win streak.

Detroit’s reaction this week is big.

“Our mindset has to be —our whole focus has to be on this team that’s right in front of us right now,’’ Campbell said. “Understand what’s walking in here is very much a mirror image of us – they’re starting back over a little, new coach, this is the way they want things done. It’s a hungry team and they’ve got a ton of talent on top of that and they just came away with probably the best win they had all season.’’

On Sunday the Jaguars (4-7) eked out a 28-27 win over the Ravens (7-4).

“We have to understand what’s coming into Ford Field on Sunday, if we don’t then we don’t have a chance,’’ Campbell said. “As long as we do and we continue to improve, I do feel like we’ve improved over the last four weeks, we have to improve again even a little bit more. If we do that then I like our odds.’’

Injury update

Cornerback Jerry Jacobs, who left Thursday’s game early due to an apparent concussion, is out of concussion protocol and ready to go.

Left guard Jonah Jackson and cornerback Jeff Okudah are in phase 3 of concussion protocol. Neither one played in Thursday’s loss to the Bills, but if there are no setbacks both should be able to play on Sunday.

The offensive line struggled at times against the Bills. Dan Skipper filled in at left guard for Jackson while Kayode Awosika played at right guard replacing Evan Brown who was out with an ankle injury.

If Jackson returns, center Frank Ragnow said, “It will be huge for us.”

Lions’ last-second loss to Bills snaps win streak but doesn’t diminish confidence

DETROIT — While there was no hiding the disappointment and frustration of being within seconds of a win against one of the NFL’s elite teams, the Lions learned a little about themselves on Thursday.

When it was over the Lions lost 28-25 to the Buffalo Bills in the annual Thanksgiving game at Ford Field before 66,000-plus fans. It was the second straight win at Ford Field for the Bills (8-3) whose game against the Browns on Sunday was moved due to a snowstorm.

The Lions had turned a corner with three straight wins – two of them on the road. The loss on Thursday does not impact their faith in themselves. This is a different team than it was before those wins.

“I said it before the game, ‘This isn’t the (effing) same old Lions anymore.’ We’re going to go out there and we’re going to get our respect. We’re going to earn that respect,’’ left tackle Taylor Decker said. “We came up short today. Week in and week out we know we’re going to go out there and bring it. We’re not going to get down, we’re going to keep fighting. … I think we’re still trending up, I really do.’’

Coach Dan Campbell feels the same way. “I think just for (the team) to know that once again when you play a team like this it doesn’t always have to be perfect but when you’re playing that caliber of team the margin for error is very  minute,’’ the coach said.

“I also want them to understand it should sting that we lost that game because we had our opportunities.That doesn’t mean we’ve taken a step back either. I still felt growth today. I feel like we’re continuing to take a step, we are fighting some things out. Yeah, there are still mistakes but I don’t feel like this was a step back, I still feel like we’re moving forward. … This can be a positive for us, not a negative,’’ he added.

Five keys to the game:

1. With 32 seconds left in the game, and the Lions down 25-22, Jared Goff’s pass to D.J. Chark on third-and-1 from Buffalo’s 33 was incomplete.”I wish I had thrown a different ball. I thought the play-call was great and (I) had some options what to do there, and yeah, if you had to do it again, do you do something differently? I don’t know, maybe, but if I throw a better ball, it might not matter,’’ Goiff said.. “But yeah, unfortunately, that’s going to be the play that gets focused on, but there’s a lot of plays that could have gone either way today as well.’’ 

2. Then instead of going for it on fourth-and-1, Michael Badgley kicked a 51-yard field goal to tie it. That left 23 seconds for the Bills to go downfield and score. Turns out they only needed 21. Josh Allen moved the Bills downfield to get in field goal range for Tyler Bass who kicked the game-winning 45-yard field goal. Campbell said he was trying to balance everything and wouldn’t change his calls. The Lions converted three fourth downs early in the game, one for a touchdown. 

3. Goff was pressured all game with two backup guards starting — Dan Skipper at left guard and Kayode Awosika at right guard. Still Goff found success especially getting the ball to Amon-Ra St. Brown who had nine catches for 122 yards and a touchdown. Goff was 23 of 27 for 240 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions.

4. Bills quarterback Josh Allen gave the defense fits with his mobility and all-around strong play.  “That quarterback is the real deal, he’s a warrior, he’s clutch and homemade a lot of significant plays,’’ Campbell said. Allen completed 24 of 42 passes for 253 yards, two touchdowns, He was also intercepted by Alex Anzalone. Allen also was the Bills’ leading rusher with 10 carries for 78 yards and a rushing touchdown. He gave credit to the Lions. “That’s a good team playing very well and playing good football right now, and they’re coached extremely well. So credit to them for such a good game plan,’’ Allen said.”But again, guys just continuing to grind. Guys going down, stepping up, just finding a way. Proud of our guys for doing that.’’

5. While kicker Michael Badgley came through with a 51-yard field goal to tie the game with 23 seconds left, he missed a 29-yarder wide left early in the game. The loss isn’t all on him but certainly the Lions need everyone to play nearly perfectly against a team like the Bills – or any NFL team for that matter.

BONUS: Rookie linebacker James Houston, a sixth-round pick, made a statement when he sacked Allen twice. It was his first NFL game experience. His mom and dad were able to make it to Detroit for the game and as a bonus it was his mom’s birthday .”I was expecting to kind of spare a little bit and go in on third downs and kind of help out a little bit,’’ Houston said. “With (LB Julian Okwara) JO going out I went in a little bit more. It’s just, opportunity meets preparation and that breeds success.”

(Up next: Jacksonville Jaguars at Lions, 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4)