ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Coming off a 34-20 prime-time win at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field on Thursday, the Detroit Lions received a pleasant surprise on Monday upon their return to the practice facility with the reinstatement of Jameson Williams.
The second-year receiver is now eligible to participate in all activities moving forward, including Sunday’s home game against Carolina, after missing the first four games due to suspension for violating the NFL’s gambling policy.
He was originally set to miss six games before the NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to modify the gambling rules on Friday. Although expectations are high for the No. 12 pick of the 2022 draft, coach Dan Campbell says they are easing him in slowly.
“We just gotta see where he’s at with the football,” Campbell said. “And this will be his first week back, so we’ll take it every day and see how he does.”
Williams has appeared in six career games and has only one catch -- a 41-yard touchdown. He did play in the preseason opener against the New York Giants, but he suffered a hamstring injury in a joint practice session with the Jacksonville Jaguars and missed the remainder of training camp and preseason action.
He also missed the first 11 games of his rookie season while recovering from an ACL tear in his left knee that he suffered during the national championship game when he was playing for Alabama.
During the suspension, Williams stayed local, working out twice a day with a personal trainer in Detroit, according to a source, but the Lions don’t want him feeling like he needs to make up for any lost time.
“Honestly, for me, it’s dependability. Reliability, dependability, getting lined up, knowing where you’re supposed to be,” Campbell said. “We’re gonna get the depth out of you, and we can count on you to be where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there, and that’s it.
“I’m not looking yards, I’m not looking for explosives, I’m not looking for touchdowns,” he added. “Man, just be a reliable receiver like any of those guys in the room. That’s it, and to me, that’s a good year, because we’re about winning. It’s not about one player, and that’ll help us win.”