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 WR Jameson Williams said he’ll be ready to go at training camp

Jameson Williams said his surgically repaired knee will be ready to go for training camp.

The wide receiver from Alabama was drafted with the 12th overall pick in the NFL draft by the Lions and then introduced to Detroit on Friday.

“I’m excited to join the offense, I feel we can do pretty big things,’’ Williams said.

He tore his ACL in the national championship game on Jan. 10. On Friday he was 13 weeks post surgery and did not hesitate to say he would be ready for camp. Lions GM Brad Holmes would not give a timetable after he drafted Williams, but said he was comfortable about when he was expected to return. 

Williams also did not hesitate to talk about his speed, a big reason he was so attractive to the Lions.

He didn’t run the 40 at the NFL Combine due to his knee.

“I would’ve run the fastest 40,’’ Williams said.

For this year’s Combine?

“Ever,’’ he said.

His  parents met on their high school track team before they went on to compete in college track. His siblings compete in track.

Williams set a Missouri state high school record in the 300 hurdles at Cardinal Ritter in St. Louis winning a 2018 state championship. He broke the record that had been set by Ezekiel Elliott. He also won a state title in the 400 meters.

Speed is in Williams’ DNA, but he said there’s been plenty of hard work along the way too. He said he was the fastest in his family when he was 12 or 13.

Williams’ speed will allow him to open up the field vertically. (Watch his film at Alabama and his speed jumps off the charts.)