After an earlier than expected return from a six-game gambling suspension, Jameson Williams flashed his potential on a touchdown catch against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in his second game back. But as a sign of the development he still had in front of him, he followed that with a catch-less outing on six targets against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 7.
Coming out of the bye in Week 9, Week 10 against the Los Angeles Chargers was a notable turning point for Williams. He had a touchdown overturned by a penalty and only had two catches for 18 yards, but otherwise he clearly had earned coveted trust from the coaching staff.
In Week 11 against the Chicago Bears, Williams scored the touchdown that kickstarted the comeback as he also played a career-best 65 percent snap share. On Thanksgiving Day against the Green Bay Packers, he set a career high with 53 snaps as he finished with two catches for 51 yards (highlighted by a 38-yard play).
The only game Williams has had more than three targets in this season is that dud against Baltimore.
Jameson Williams in line to start 'pulling down' more targets
On Thursday, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson talked about Williams' progress.
"The way he’s practicing, the way he’s preparing, and the way he’s playing, because of that, his reps are going up,”
He continues to get out there, and the ball is going to just start gravitating to him just a little bit more than it already has,” But he’s going a really nice job, and he just needs to continue to put in the work like he’s doing right now."
The recent downturn Josh Reynolds has had (injury driven?), with 15 or less yards in four straight games, means someone else needs to step up in the Lions' wide receiver corps alongside Amon-Ra St. Brown.
That someone seems lined up to be Williams, based sheerly on his uptick in snaps. It's just a matter of getting more targets now. And to use Johnson's phrasing, the gravitational pull of target share should start naturally moving his way a little more.