With Josh Reynolds gone, it's Jameson Williams' time to shine for the Lions

With the departure of Josh Reynolds to the Denver Broncos, the spotlight is on Jameson Williams to be a game-changer for the Detroit Lions.
NFC Championship - Detroit Lions v San Francisco 49ers
NFC Championship - Detroit Lions v San Francisco 49ers / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

With the departure of Josh Reynolds now official, to the Denver Broncos, wide receiver has a new level of need for the Detroit Lions. Most of the spotlight to fill the void and step up now shifts to Jameson Williams to become the game-changer he has been envisioned to be.

Williams may never be a high-volume target in the Lions' offense, but his speed is a differentiator that tilts things. Working his way back from a torn ACL in his final college game as a rookie in 2022, and a gambling suspension (later reduced to four games) delayed the start of his second season.

Williams has shown glimpses of his immense potential despite those setbacks. Down the stretch last season he clearly earned the trust of the coaches, leaving behind issues with dropped passes and generally refining his game. While more snaps didn't always yield notable production, the uptick was telling.

Jameson Williams now has a clear opportunity in front of him

Reynolds' departure was easy to see coming based on the expectation Williams will have a bigger role in his third season. No less an authority than head coach Dan Campbell laid out the expectations for Williams.

"By the end of the year, we really felt like he (Williams) started to come into his own,” Campbell said, at the NFL Combine. “He’s going to be push to be a full-time starter now, and that’s what we’re looking for....As long as he gets back and puts the work in like we believe he will because he’s shown that, he’s only going to get better and better and better.”

Williams now has the clear chance to establish himself as a primary target alongside Amon-Ra St. Brown. The chemistry he started building with Jared Goff late last season should be a launching point heading into the 2024 season,

Some Lions' fans may have started to lose faith Jameson Williams would develop and confirm what made him the 12th overall pick in the 2022 draft despite coming off that torn ACL. With Reynolds gone, the door is now open for him to have a big role from the get go and have the proverbial "third-year breakout" that's still common for wide receivers.


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