Dan Campbell doesn’t see how Jameson Williams will be ready for training camp
Optimism has been high around Lions’ rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams, but head coach Dan Campbell has offered some candid reality as he sees it.
Right after the Lions drafted him in April, Jameson Williams stated his goal to be recovered from a torn ACL in January in time for training camp. A pretty aggressive goal, sure, but being cleared and being allowed to go full bore in camp practices are two different things. The Lions are going to be cautious.
During the last of voluntary OTAs, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson addressed the challenge it’ll be to get Williams integrated and ready for the start of the season. It did not come off as coach-speak, or a particular lament of Williams missing offseason work as he recovers. It was just reality.
On Thursday, the last day of Lions’ mandatory minicamp before they reconvene for training camp in the back half of July, head coach Dan Campbell offered another dose of candid reality.
Jameson Williams not expected to be ready for the start of training camp
Talking about Williams being ready for training camp, via Kyle Meinke of MLive, here’s what Campbell said.
"I don’t see him being ready for training camp,” head coach Dan Campbell said before wrapping up mandatory minicamp on Thursday. “I’m very hopeful, but I don’t see it. We’re going to do this thing the right way, and when he’s ready, he’s ready. But no, I don’t feel like we’re going to see him Day 1.”"
Campbell specifically saying “I don’t feel like we’re going to see him Day 1” is an important potential caveat. It suggests, however optimistically, that Williams could see some work during training camp, just not the first day–or likely the first few days.
The start of training camp will be a little over six months since Williams suffered his injury (Jan. 10). That is on the early and very optimistic end of any recovery timetable from a torn ACL. Not being ready for camp isn’t ideal, but it was always a pretty aggressive goal.
A change the NFL made this offseason, which may have been easy to miss, is possibly noteworthy to Williams’ situation. The minimum number of games a player has to miss if they’re placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list has been reduced from six to four.
Getting down to it, there’s no reason for the Lions to rush anything with Williams. Everyone wants to see him on the field as soon as possible, and a Week 4 debut against the Seattle Seahawks (as predicted by Tim Twentyman of the team site) is still in play.