Lions taking stupid risk by using Jameson Williams as a gunner on the punt team

Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports /

Jameson WIlliams will make his NFL debut on Sunday, and the Lions are taking a ridiculous risk with their rookie wide receiver.

The Detroit Lions activated rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams off the NFI list on Saturday. He will make his NFL debut against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, albeit with a limited snap count.

Williams’ smallish workload will surely be strictly on offense, right? Wrong.

According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, the Lions plan to use Williams as a gunner on the punt team. Hat-tip to Pro Football Talk and Pride of Detroit for the quotes.

"They’re not just going to play him on offense today, but they’re even going to play him some at gunner, which is really odd for a guy coming off an ACL injury,” Glazer said. “Yeah, at gunner. He’s going to be limited, because they think he’s really going to help them in two phases of that team.”"

Williams was used as a special teams gunner at Alabama last season, did well in the role and apparently embraced doing it. But Howie Long on the FOX pregame desk put it succinctly and well in response to Glazer’s report.

"That’s why Detroit struggles"

Lions taking ridiculous and stupid risk using Jameson Williams as a punt team gunner

Merely taking the field puts Williams at risk of injury, as it does any other player. But putting him on special teams? Where he may have to make a tackle? Covering kicks takes place at a speed no other phase of the game can quite replicate, and Williams has participated in three typical NFL practices with no concrete indication he did any special teams work.

Only the Lions would be so stupid as to put a first-round wide receiver coming back from a major injury on punt coverage in his first game. To say nothing of using up some snaps on what will be a limited snap count.

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