Jameson Williams hasn’t played a football game in nearly 11 months, but when he does return to the field sometime in December, the Detroit Lions are counting on him to influence their offense in a very important way.
“I know, he can run,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said Monday. “He can run, so—and it’s not hard. You either have it or you don’t, and he’s got it. In that respect, he can help.”
Williams trained Monday for the first time since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Jan. 10 in Alabama’s national championship loss to Georgia.
Jeff Seidel:We get to why Lions are suddenly winning
The Lions have 21 days to activate Williams from the non-football injury list to the 53-man roster, and Campbell said he’s not yet sure if the rookie will need the full three-week training period to prepare for action.
Williams won’t play on Thursday when the Lions host (4-6) Buffalo Bills at Ford Field, but he could return on Dec. 4 against the Jacksonville Jaguars or Dec. 11 against the Minnesota Vikings. The Lions have until December 12 to remove Williams from the NFI.
“I think it’s just let’s see where he’s at because the rehab he’s really done, and now, even though it’s not technically an exercise, if you’re going to do it, it’s more of a walking position, but the things he’s going to do starting today are a lot of life centering,” Campbell said. About football.” “So I think we’ll just see where he can go. And then we’ll see how fast he can get there.”
The Lions pitched a full team run Monday and didn’t throw it during the session, but Williams was scheduled to run tracks for Lions coach Tim Boyle later in the day.
Jared Goff said he and Williams have only played catch-up together so far. However, Goff said Williams’ unique playmaking ability should help in offense.
Carlos Monares:Lions rush with Jamal Williams, Must Move from D’Andre Swift
Williams averaged 19.9 yards per catch in his only season at Alabama, when he caught 79 passes for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns.
“He’s got a very quick guy and he’s got a lot of ability,” said Gough. Anyway, we can end up using him when the time comes when he comes back, he’ll give us a boost in a way, in a way. However, the many shots he ends up with, no matter how many balls he ends up in Catching it up, just being on the field and having his ability to threaten people vertically and turn a 5-yard throw into a 60-yard gain, that kind of thing, is dangerous.”
The Lions are eighth in the NFL in scoring with 25 points per game, but have failed to exceed 200 yards passing in three of the past five weeks as injuries have devastated their receiving corps.
Amon Ra St. Brown leads the Lions with 56 passing and 594 yards despite missing one game with a sprained ankle and being limited by injuries to two others. DJ Chark’s top free agent signing played only four games due to pain in his surgically repaired ankle. Josh Reynolds missed his third consecutive game Sunday against the New York Giants with a back injury.
Lions Stock Watch:Aidan Hutchinson makes a case for Defensive Rookie of the Year
Williams has been a regular at meetings during his rehabilitation and has traveled to some road games, and Campbell said the receiver already has a good relationship with his teammates.
“There will be a learning curve, as there is with all of these guys.” Campbell said. “But anything we ask him to do will be things we feel he does well and he can help us with that too, which will set him up for success as well.”
Contact Dave Birkett at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @tweet