After light work in his NFL debut, Lions rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams is lined up to play more against the Vikings.
The anticipation for Jameson Williams‘ NFL debut was mixed with reasonable expectations coming off a torn ACL, but it was still mostly a tease. The Lions’ rookie receiver played eight offensive snaps, only ran a couple routes and had one (uncaught) target.
A report from Jay Glazer of FOX Sports got some attention before the game against Jacksonville, and head coach Dan Campbell confirmed the plan was to use Williams as a gunner on the punt team. The Lions just never punted against the Jaguars.
On Tuesday morning, making his weekly appearance on 97.1 The Ticket, Campbell talked about Williams and his playing time in his debut.
"We just wanted to get him out there (last week),” Campbell said. “We wanted him to go through a pregame warm-up, be on the sideline, go line up, go fight with somebody a little bit, go run a route, see if you can connect, go block somebody and just be in it. Be part of it, pads on, all of that."
Jameson Williams naturally in line for more playing time against the Vikings
As for Williams’ playing time going forward, Campbell confirmed how it will trend.
"Moving forward, it’ll be, ‘OK, we’ll get him a little more involved now,’ so we’ll have some things for him. He’ll play more than he did last week, but there again, it’s just, let’s slowly start to implement him into what we’re doing and see how he handles everything.”"
Will Williams really be used as a gunner on the punt team? Campbell took a joking tone when starting to talk about that.
"Maybe that’s all he does, maybe he’s just a gunner,” “Let me tell you something, have you ever seen his gunner reps? Check ‘em out. But we’ll see. I’ll tell you this, he’s a football player. He’s tough, he’s competitive and he’s not worried about breaking nails. He just wants to play.He’s obviously going to get more reps on offense and we’ll take him where he can go.”"
It’s safe to assume the Lions will have to punt at some point during Sunday’s game against the Vikings. So Williams will get work as a gunner on the coverage unit, along with an additional chunk of snaps on offense compared to his debut. A designed play to get him his first NFL catch in front of the home crowd at Ford Field seems to be an easy order.