NFL coaches try to partake in gamesmanship about who will play, and Lions head coach Dan Campbell is trying to keep the mystery on if Jameson Williams will play Sunday.
Since Ian Rapoport’s report on Thanksgiving morning, and even that had an important caveat, it has felt unlikely Detroit Lions rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams will play Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Besides being physically ready to go, Williams has to build quick rapport with quarterback Jared Goff. So another week of practices seems like an easy order there, before Williams more likely makes his NFL debut in Week 14 against the Minnesota Vikings.
Dan Campbell trying to maintain mystery about Jameson Williams’ status for Sunday
Before Friday’s practice, Campbell had his typical end of week press conference. He naturally talked about Williams (via Pride of Detroit).
"First day we gave him some (individual drills), a little one-on-one work,” Campbell explained. “And then yesterday, worked him in the scout-team reps, and he got a pretty good load. And so I know he looked better yesterday than he looked the day before. Now I anticipate him looking a little better today.”"
But will Williams be activated and suit up on Sunday?
"I haven’t made a decision on that,” Campbell said."
By all accounts Williams is making good progress as his debut approaches and his torn ACL moves all the way to the rearview mirror. He could be activated and play a small sample of snaps against the Jaguars, with an eye on putting more on his plate against the Vikings.
Campbell wasn’t going to say a firm decision has been made on if Williams will play Sunday, and it won’t be 100 percent one way or the other until Saturday afternoon when some roster moves may come.
But everything up to this point says it’ll be one more week before Williams makes his debut. An effort to maintain some mystery about it feels strained and unnecessary, since the Jaguars’ defensive game plan won’t be completely scrapped on short notice if Williams is going to play.