5 players the Detroit Lions need more from after the bye week

The Detroit Lions are in an enviable position coming out of their week off, but it would be nice if they got more from these five players down the stretch.
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2. DE Charles Harris

Harris was a healthy scratch in Week 7, but you would be excused if you thought he was inactive for most of the first eight games so far. He has 1.5 sacks this season, which came over the span of two games (Week 3 and Week 4), and other than those plays he has not been noticeable.

An injury hampered Harris for some games last year, and it ultimately landed him on IR for the rest of the season. Not being healthy is not an excuse this year though, and his downturn since leading the Lions with 7.5 sacks in 2021 has continued. The fade, as the Lions have become a good team, feels notable in some way.

Harris played just 10 snaps in Week 8. He has played 28 total snaps in the last two games he has played in, after playing at least 37 defensive snaps in each of the first five games this season. The phase-out could continue after the bye, or for lack of other options the Lions could give Harris one last shot for a game or two.

1. WR Jameson Williams

Putting Williams at No. 1 on this list is easy. His performance since coming back from his gambling suspension in Week 5 may not be all his fault, as former Lions' wide receiver Herman Moore opined recently, but the impact plays have been too few no matter what.

Williams has only caught 40 percent of his targets this season (six catches for 71 yards, with a 45-yard touchdown). He has work to do as a route runner, and chemistry with Jared Goff is still a work-in-progress. Every receiver drops passes occasionally, but his elite speed can't be taken advantage of if he can't catch the ball more reliably.

Moore suggested Williams should be used some in the slot, and more broadly on shorter routes to simply get the ball in his hands and boost his confidence. Those are not bad ideas.

How much patience the Lions will have with Williams, as they try to keep stacking wins after the bye, is a big question. It will presumably be answered with less playing time if he continues to have struggles. In some way, the trade deadline acquisition of Donovan Peoples-Jones is a backup plan for Williams' continuing to underperform.

Williams straddles the line of "he needs to do better" and "the Lions need to find ways to use him more effectively." Any way you slice it, he needs to get it done on a higher level after the bye week.

Next. Predicting the rest of the Detroit Lions schedule after their Week 9 bye. Predicting the rest of the Detroit Lions schedule after their Week 9 bye. dark