After his second normal NFL practice, Lions rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams said he’s close to full speed already.
His first substantive NFL practice since the 21-day window to activate him started last week came on Wednesday, and Jameson Williams generated a bit of fanfare as video clips came out. But it will be a tall order, per Lions head coach Dan Campbell earlier this week, for the rookie wide receiver to be ready to play Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars with three real practices under his belt.
Williams himself spoke after Thursday’s practice, and he says he’s close to full speed as his recovery from a torn ACL nears the completed end.
Via Kyle Meinke of MLive.
"Somewhere close to it,” the Detroit Lions’ prized rookie told MLive after practice on Thursday. “I’m running real fast right now. I feel real fast. Feeling good.”"
Evidence indeed suggests Williams is “running real fast.”
Lions: Jameson Williams in line to make debut Week 14 vs. Vikings, or Week 15?
Apart from getting physically up to par, Williams is also working on building rapport with quarterback Jared Goff. Two practices, or eventually three before this weekend’s game, isn’t quite enough to get that sufficiently done.
"To me, it’s developing chemistry with the quarterback,” offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said, when asked what he needed to see from Williams. “I mean shoot, yesterday was the first time I think Jared’s thrown the ball to him, routes on air or competitive setting. That takes time. That takes time. It’s different than you acquire Josh Reynolds middle of (last) season, and instantly, that connection’s there (because they had played together before)."
So Williams’ debut seems to be coming in Week 14 against the Minnesota Vikings, with that game coming the day before the three-week window to put him on the active roster closes. Otherwise, he could be added to the 53-man roster late next week, carried as an inactive against Minnesota and make his debut in Week 15 against the New York Jets. Or his debut could come after that, if the Lions are willing to carry Williams as a gameday inactive.
Whenever he is able to play, fellow wide receiver DJ Chark has already anointed Williams.
"The excitement that you guys feel and we feel is for real,” I definitely believe that he’s a superstar.”Same thing you guys seen,” Chark said. “He’s fast.”"