Jamaal Williams

Detroit Lions
Running Back #30
Detroit Lions
Running Back #30
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Jamaal Williams News

Slated for backup role

Williams is expected to be the No. 2 running back as a complementary piece to D'Andre Swift, Eric Woodyard of ESPN reports.

Analysis: With Kerryon Johnson out of the picture, Williams' competition for the backup running back job is no better than seventh-round rookie Jermar Jefferson and undrafted rookie Dedrick Mills. Unless Detroit brings in someone like Todd Gurley before the season, the veteran jack of all trades should be secure in the No. 2 role for the foreseeable future. However, those in dynasty leagues should keep in mind that Detroit could cut Williams rather easily after one year if he doesn't prove to be a good fit.

Jul 1, 2021 1:27 PM EST

Joining Detroit on two-year deal

Williams agreed to a two-year contract worth up to $7.5 million with the Lions on Tuesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: The 25-year-old expressed a desire to stay in Green Bay earlier this offseason, but after the re-signing of Aaron Jones he'll move on to Detroit. Williams primarily operated as the Packers' secondary running back and rushed for 505 yards on 4.2 yards per carry while catching 31 passes for 236 yards with three total touchdowns in 2020. He should fill a similar role in the Lions' backfield behind lead back D'Andre Swift.

Mar 16, 2021 8:58 PM EST

Wants to stay in Green Bay

Williams said Monday that he'd "really love to just be a Packer all my life if I could," Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports.

Analysis: Williams and regular backfield mate Aaron Jones (chest) are both set to hit free agency this offseason, but given the Packers' constrained salary cap situation, it seems unlikely that either player will get an offer from the team that would match what they could find on the open market. The 25-year-old has been a particularly effective complement to Jones over the last two seasons, having logged at least 700 scrimmage yards and over 4.0 YPC in both campaigns. The presence of 2020 second-round pick AJ Dillon, who is widely expected to obtain a larger role next season, could make it easier for the Packers to let Williams walk.

Feb 22, 2021 2:10 PM EST

Top 700 yards from scrimmage

Williams had 119 carries for 505 yards and two touchdowns and 31 receptions for 236 yards and another score over 14 games in 2020.

Analysis: Williams did not find the end zone as frequently as he did in 2019, but he essentially matched his production in both the yardage and yards-per-touch departments and topped 700 yards from scrimmage for the third time in four seasons. Williams isn't flashy, but he has gotten the job done and proved to be an effective complement to Aaron Jones. Both players will be free agents this offseason, and it remains to be seen if either will return to Green Bay. It seems unlikely Williams will play a lead role wherever he winds up, but if he at least gets the opportunity to split the work in the backfield, he will be worthy of consideration in 2021 fantasy drafts.

Feb 10, 2021 8:27 AM EST

Cleared for NFC Championship Game

Williams (ankle) doesn't have an injury designation for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Analysis: A limited practice participant throughout the week, Williams never appeared in serious danger of missing the NFC Championship Game. He handled 37 percent snap share in a win over Los Angeles last week, taking 12 carries for 65 yards.

Jan 22, 2021 1:25 PM EST

Puts in another limited practice

Williams (ankle) practiced in a limited fashion Thursday, Olivia Reiner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Analysis: Both Williams and AJ Dillon (quadriceps) have had their practice reps managed this week. If the duo is able to gain clearance to play in Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Buccaneers, Williams and Dillon will play second and third fiddle, respectively, to top running back Aaron Jones.

Jan 21, 2021 1:34 PM EST

Limited Wednesday

Williams (ankle) was listed as limited on Wednesday's practice report.

Analysis: The same applies to fellow running back AJ Dillon (quad), as well as eight other Packers. Added context with regard to the duo's status will arrive when the team practices again Thursday, but so far there's nothing to suggest that Williams is in any danger of missing Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Buccaneers.

Jan 20, 2021 2:37 PM EST

Hangs onto backup role

Williams had five carries for 26 yards in Sunday's victory over the Bears.

Analysis: Williams got the ball nearly half the time he was on the field, but Aaron Jones received the bulk of the backfield work in Sunday's contest and Williams played only 12 snaps. Williams was still far more involved than fellow reserve AJ Dillon -- who tallied just five snaps and one carry -- and he remains the clear backup behind Jones heading into the postseason.

Jan 4, 2021 8:57 AM EST

Gets back to full participation

Williams (quadriceps) was a full practice participant Thursday.

Analysis: Williams was deemed to be limited at Wednesday's walk-through session, so his elevation to uncapped one day later is telling for the health of his quadriceps. With his status cleared ahead of Sunday's regular-season finale in Chicago, it'll be interesting to see if he retains his role as the Packers' No. 2 running back after AJ Dillon's impressive performance in Williams' absence Week 16. Dillon racked up 22 touches for 129 yards and two TDs in the blowout win over the Titans, while Aaron Jones himself recorded 12 touches for 108 total yards.

Dec 31, 2020 1:40 PM EST

Limited Wednesday

Williams (quadriceps) was limited at practice Wednesday.

Analysis: The appearance at practice marks Williams' first since injuring his quad Week 15 against the Panthers. He proceeded to miss the Packers' dismantling of the Titans this past Sunday night, giving AJ Dillon a chance to shine alongside Aaron Jones. Dillon, a rookie second-rounder, turned 22 touches for 129 yards from scrimmage and two TDs on the ground, while Jones managed 12 touches for 108 total yards. If Williams does enough this week to be active Sunday at Chicago, it'll be interesting to see who among Williams and Dillon is working in concert with Jones.

Dec 30, 2020 2:23 PM EST

Back at practice Wednesday

Williams (quadriceps) returned to practice Wednesday, Matt Schneidman of The Athletic reports

Analysis: Williams didn't practice at all last week before missing his second game of the campaign. His absence cleared the way for AJ Dillon to have his coming out party, as the rookie second-round pick tore through the Titans defense for 22 touches for 129 yards from scrimmage and two rushing TDs. Aaron Jones himself tallied 12 touches for 108 total yards, so it'll be interesting to see how Williams is reincorporated into the Packers offense. That's assuming Williams gains clearance to suit up Sunday at Chicago.

Dec 30, 2020 12:52 PM EST

Not playing Week 16

Williams (quadriceps) is listed as inactive Sunday against the Titans.

Analysis: After failing to practice in any capacity during Week 16 prep, Williams' imminent DNP was forecast with a doubtful designation for this contest. While Williams tends to a quadriceps injury that knocked him out of Week 15 action versus the Panthers, the Packers will ride the coattails of Aaron Jones out of their backfield. There's also the potential for rookie second-round pick AJ Dillon to get his first significant run of the campaign.

Dec 27, 2020 3:55 PM EST

Doubtful for SNF

Williams (quadriceps) is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against Tennessee, Matt Schneidman of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Williams suffered the injury in last Saturday's win over the Panthers, freeing up Aaron Jones for 90 percent snap share and 158 total yards on 25 touches. The Packers may find a little more work for AJ Dillon this week, but Jones is sure to be busy again.

Dec 25, 2020 1:09 PM EST

Sidelined for practice

Williams (quadriceps) didn't participate in Thursday's practice, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Analysis: With consecutive absences at practice to begin Week 16, Williams isn't putting himself on track to suit up Sunday against the Titans. Before providing a gauge of his availability for the contest, the Packers will see if Williams is able to practice in some capacity Friday. Rookie AJ Dillon would be in line to work as the top backup to Aaron Jones if Williams can't play this week.

Dec 24, 2020 1:50 PM EST

DNP on Wednesday

Williams (quadriceps) didn't practice Wednesday.

Analysis: As was foretold when he was seen at the open portion of the session, Williams was held out due to the quad issue he picked up Week 15 versus the Packers. Fellow backfield mate Aaron Jones was limited himself by a toe injury, leaving AJ Dillon as the only healthy Green Bay running back at the moment. As a result, this backfield will be one to watch as the weekend approaches.

Dec 23, 2020 1:28 PM EST

Not seen at practice

Williams (quadriceps) wasn't spotted at the part of practice open to the media Wednesday, Matt Schneidman of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: If he doesn't fit in any work, it'll mark Williams' second DNP in as many days due to a quadriceps injury suffered Week 15. Aside from starter Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon is the only other healthy running back on the Packers' active roster, the rookie second-round pick could be in line for some consistent work in the short term if Williams is unable to get healthy.

Dec 23, 2020 10:53 AM EST

Misses Tuesday's practice

Williams (thigh) didn't take part in Tuesday's practice, Olivia Reiner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Analysis: Green Bay won't release its first Week 16 practice report until Wednesday, but if his activity Tuesday is any indication, Williams will be listed as a non-participant. Williams was lifted early in Saturday's win over Panthers with the thigh injury, finishing the game with one carry for six yards and two receptions for 14 yards across four offensive snaps.

Dec 22, 2020 12:51 PM EST

Thigh issue likely isn't serious

Williams' thigh injury isn't considered to be severe, but how he fares in rehab will determine his availability for next Sunday's game versus the Titans, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Analysis: Due to the phrasing, Williams seems poised to be more involved with the training staff than with his teammates on the practice field for Week 16 prep. Wednesday's injury report ultimately may set the stage for his ability to suit up next weekend. If he's unable to do so, Williams could yield reps rookie second-rounder AJ Dillon, though Aaron Jones figures to earn the bulk of the RB touches in that scenario.

Dec 20, 2020 12:37 PM EST

Suffers quad injury

Williams is questionable to return to Saturday's game against the Panthers due to a quadriceps injury, Olivia Reiner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Analysis: The 25-year-old had one carry for six yards and caught both his targets for 14 yards during the first half before exiting the contest. AJ Dillon will operate as Green Bay's secondary running back behind Aaron Jones while Williams is sidelined.

Dec 19, 2020 7:03 PM EST

Snap count continues to decline

Williams had 10 carries for 38 yards and was not targeted in Sunday's victory over the Lions.

Analysis: Williams played a fewer percentage of the snaps than the week before for the third game in a row, and the total of 20 plays he was on the field for was just one more than the season-low 19 snaps he received in Week 3. Williams did get the ball half the time he was on the field, but he was unable to provide much help for those that included him in Week 14 lineups. With the Packers turning more to Aaron Jones and the the team's Week 15 opponent -- the Panthers -- doing a good job against opposing running backs of late, those still alive in the fantasy playoffs don't have much reason to keep a roster spot reserved for Williams.

Dec 14, 2020 8:00 AM EST

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