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Lions mailbag: Should Jameson Williams get more playing time?

The Lions’ first-round pick has played in just 45 snaps over four games. Is it time for Detroit to unleash Jameson Williams?

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

It’s now been nearly a month since the Detroit Lions activated first-round pick Jameson Williams from the non-football injury list, and the wideout has already made four game appearances.

However, it has been an underwhelming start for the rookie simply due to the fact that the Lions are easing him into his role. He only has one catch so far in his career—an explosive 41-yard touchdown—and he hasn’t played more than 13 snaps in a single game. It’s clear he’s just a subpackage guy, but it’s also clear fans are starting to get a little impatient—especially when they don’t see Williams out there in a game like Saturday vs. the Panthers, when the team has very little to lose mid-blowout.

Obviously, a player like Williams, who missed the entire offseason to acclimate to the NFL and build chemistry with Jared Goff, is going to need time to reach his full potential. The Lions also have had one of the most efficient passing offenses in the league without him being a big part of the offense.

But Detroit invested a lot in this guy, and they’re playing in extremely meaningful games right now. Why not use all of the weapons at their disposal? Surely Jameson Williams even only at 60-70 percent of his potential is still a huge weapon—or at the very least an effective decoy.

This week, coach Dan Campbell said Williams will get more looks in the upcoming weeks, but he’s said that essentially each of the last four weeks, and Williams’ participation has remained around a dozen snaps for each contest.

So on this week’s mailbag podcast, myself and Erik Schlitt debate whether Williams should be getting more playing time or if the Lions are doing the right thing by limiting him.

Also discussed on this week’s pod:

  • Will defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn go into 2023 on the hot seat? (4:00)
  • Where does the “real” Lions defense actually stand? (7:15)
  • What did the Lions do schematically wrong against the Panthers? (10:20)
  • Are the Lions playing with house money right now? (14:00)
  • How concerned should you be about Jeff Okudah’s future? (26:00)
  • What is Obinna Eze’s ceiling? (38:00)
  • Can we stop with the zero blitzes? (40:30)
  • Will the Lions splurge in free agency? (44:50)

Check out our conversations below:

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.