Detroit Lions receiver Jameson Williams is back on the practice field this week after his six-game suspension was shortened following the NFL-NFLPA agreement on revised gambling punishments.
The former first-round receiver, who has played in six games in his career, catching one of nine targets for a 41-yard touchdown, believes he could play in Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers despite the layoff.
“The whole time I was staying in shape, I was catching. I was doing those things to where when I get back I’ll be ready,” Williams said, via The Associated Press. “I guess that happened. I’m ready for it now. I just have to tune up some small little things and I’ll be ready to go.”
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Williams dealt with a hamstring injury suffered in a mid-August practice, which relegated him to just one preseason appearance. The second-year wideout said the injury is in the rearview and shouldn’t be an issue.
The 22-year-old added that he’s not fretting about being ready, having kept himself in shape during the suspension by catching off the JUGS machine at home. Williams said the chemistry with Jared Goff shouldn’t be an issue despite the time away.
“We had time at camp. We just had some time today. After practice we did stuff, whatever he thinks is good, we need,” Williams said. “So I don’t think it will take a lot of time. It will be good work when we get going.”
Coach Dan Campbell noted that we shouldn’t expect Williams to play a full slate of reps out of the gate as the Lions work the speedy receiver into the game plan.
“It’s just about polishing all the little things and we also know if he does play, he can’t play 60 plays,” Campbell said. “That’s not smart, so we can’t do that to him. So, we’ll see where it goes and it’s all about improvement. No different than the rest of the team, man.”
The Lions already boast a dynamic offense. If Williams brings the consistent field-stretching element he was drafted to be, that could take the operation to another level. Heretofore, that’s simply been a projection. Now, we get to see it in action.
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