If you’re hoping to see the Detroit Lions unveil first-round rookie receiver Jameson Williams this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. Lions coach Dan Campbell seemed to suggest that Williams—along with defensive end Romeo Okwara—are trending towards being another week away.
“I think that would be a tall order,” Campbell said about their chances of playing this week. “Anything’s open. Look, I think we need to be able to see them pull quite a few reps with high intensity and contact and versatility in whatever the job description will be. I don’t want to say it wouldn’t happen, but it would take a lot.”
Williams is entering his second week of NFL practice after the Lions started his clock during Thanksgiving week. Williams still remains on the Physically Unable to Perform list from a torn ACL in January, but he told the media last week that he is both physically and mentally over the injury.
“I feel like I’m past both of those,” Williams said. “Just ready to suit up and play some football. Those are parts of the recovery, and I feel like I handled those things well.”
Last week, the Lions only had walkthroughs for practice, meaning Williams only got a small taste of what a real NFL practice is like. The real value of those practices, per Campbell, was getting him running routes and working on timing with quarterbacks.
“After we got done with the walkthroughs, he and a couple—(Maurice) Alexander was another one—we had them over there running routes,” Campbell said. “So it was really more routes on air, but timing, throws, things of that nature. And he was fine. There again, it’s on air, but at least it gets him in that mold and you can coach backwards from there.”
As for Okwara, he will be entering his third week of practice with still one more week on his evaluation clock, meaning Detroit will not have to activate him from the Physically Unable to Perform list until next week. Okwara suffered a torn Achilles back in Week 4 of the 2021 season, and he, too, feels physically ready to return.
“I feel great,” Okwara said a couple weeks back. “These 13 months were huge and I made a lot of progress. I feel like I’m at that point.”
At this point, it feels like it’s far more likely we see both players next week against the Minnesota Vikings.