Williams was targeted once but did not catch a pass during Sunday's 40-14 win over the Jaguars.
Analysis: After talk of Williams potentially seeing time on special teams in his professional debut, the rookie was contained to just eight snaps on offense. Meanwhile, Amon-Ra St. Brown and DJ Chark each had their way with the Jaguars secondary in the blowout victory, giving the Lions no reason to rush Williams into heavy snaps. With that said, there is no denying the dynamic element that Williams could bring to the table as a third receiver in Detroit's offense, so look for Williams' role to only grow as the season goes on. Next up is a Week 14 matchup with a beatable Vikings secondary.
Dec 5, 2022 12:55 PM EST
Not only will Williams (knee) get eased into the offense, but he'll also see some work as a 'gunner' on special teams, Jay Glazer reported on the Fox Sunday morning pregame show.
Analysis: Why the Lions would expose a key asset like Williams in special teams coverage under normal circumstances is questionable at best, but with him returning from a knee injury, this seems like a bad idea.
Dec 4, 2022 9:11 AM EST
Williams (knee), who was activated from the reserve/non-football injury list Saturday, is expected to be on a "very limited snap count" in his NFL debut Sunday against the Jaguars, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: The Lions envision the No. 12 overall pick in this year's draft filling a major role on offense over the long haul, but he'll be eased back into the mix Sunday after having suffered a torn ACL during his final collegiate game at Alabama back in January. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kalif Raymond and DJ Chark are likely to continue serving as Detroit's main three receivers this week, but Williams should have a decent chance at jumping Raymond and Chark on the depth chart by season's end if he remains free of setbacks with his knee while he gradually ramps up his snap count in the weeks to come.
Dec 4, 2022 7:01 AM EST
Williams (knee) was activated off the reserve/non-football injury list Saturday and is expected to play in Sunday's matchup against the Jaguars, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: It's unclear how much Williams will actually play as the Lions are arguably the healthiest they've been all season at wide receiver, but given the team was pressed against a deadline with this activation, there's clearly some plan to involve the Alabama product. The rookie receiver hasn't played since tearing his ACL back in November, but when healthy could be regarded as one of the more electric playmakers in the entire league. Expect Williams to easily gain a foothold on a top-three WR spot once he's eventually deemed capable of commanding a full snap share.
Dec 3, 2022 1:05 PM EST
Coach Dan Campbell said Friday morning that the Lions hadn't made a decision on Williams (knee) for Sunday's game against the Jaguars, James Palmer of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: Campbell said Monday it would be a "tall order" for Williams to play, but the Lions apparently are considering it... or at least giving their opponent that impression. The rookie returned to practice last Monday and is now almost 11 months removed from his ACL tear, so it won't be too surprising if he's activated from injured reserve Friday or Saturday to play in Sunday's game. If not, Williams' next chances to play will be Week 14 against Minnesota and Week 15 at the Jets. He'll likely be a part-time player for at least his first game, competing for perimeter snaps with DJ Chark, Kalif Raymond and Josh Reynolds.
Dec 2, 2022 9:20 AM EST
Coach Dan Campbell suggested Monday that it "would be a tall order" for Williams (knee) to play Sunday against the Jaguars, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports.
Analysis: Though Campbell hasn't completely closed the door on the possibility of Williams -- who returned to practice last Monday -- being activated from the reserve/non-football injury list ahead of the contest, it appears as though a potential Week 14 return is a more realistic outcome for the rookie wideout. In the meantime, Amon-Ra St. Brown, DJ Chark and Kalif Raymond are line to continue to lead the Lions' wideout corps, with Josh Reynolds and Tom Kennedy mixing in.
Nov 28, 2022 2:57 PM EST
Williams (knee) will not be activated from the reserve/non-football injury list for Thursday's contest against the Bills, but he could make his season debut as early as Week 13, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: Detroit designated Williams for a return to practice Monday, but the rookie first-round pick hasn't yet gone full-speed during drills and never seemed like a realistic candidate to play Thanksgiving Day. Williams is on track to ramp up to a full practice workload next week, and it sounds as though as long as he avoids any setbacks, he could make his NFL debut as early as Dec. 04 versus the Jaguars. On a bright note for Thanksgiving Day, Josh Reynolds (back) is expected to be available for the Lions, per Rapoport.
Nov 24, 2022 6:19 AM EST
The Lions announced Monday that Williams (knee) has been designated for a return from the reserve/NFI list.
Analysis: Williams isn't expected to be a candidate for action during this week's Thanksgiving Day contest against the Bills, but the transaction is a sign that the rookie first-round pick is nearing full health after suffering a left ACL tear in January during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, while playing for Alabama. Detroit will have a 21-day window to evaluate Williams at practice without his counting against the 53-man roster, and he can be activated at any time in that span. Once back to full health, Williams profiles to handle a significant role alongside Amon-Ra St. Brown atop the Lions' receiving corps.
Nov 21, 2022 8:36 AM EST
Coach Dan Campbell said Wednesday that he expects Williams (knee) to be designated for a return from IR at some point after Thanksgiving, making Week 13 versus the Jaguars his earliest possible return date, Eric Woodyard of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Campbell said it's possible that Williams practices before Thanksgiving, but that he doesn't expect the rookie first-round pick to do so, much less take the field Nov. 24 versus Buffalo even if he is activated in time. Woodard reports that Campbell offered either Week 13 versus Jacksonville or Week 14 against the Giants as more realistic return targets for Williams, who Detroit has avoided rushing back from his left ACL tear. The Lions have designated DJ Chark (ankle) to resume practicing Wednesday, so the receiving corps stands to receive a boost even before Williams is ready to contribute.
Nov 16, 2022 9:39 AM EST
Coach Dan Campbell said Wednesday that Williams (knee) is at least a month away from returning from his ACL rehab, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reports.
Analysis: Williams remains on the the reserve/NFI list, where he began the season due to an ACL tear suffered in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in January. The rookie first-round pick still hasn't resumed practicing, and it looks as though the earliest possible timetable for his NFL debut is late November or potentially in December. The Lions could also have DJ Chark (ankle) back from IR by the time Williams is ready to contribute, which would put the team's starting receiver trio alongside Amon-Ra St. Brown (head) at full health.
Oct 26, 2022 9:27 AM EST
Williams (knee), who is bouncing back from a torn ACL, isn't ready yet to return from the reserve/NFI list, Jeff Risdon of USA Today reports.
Analysis: That said, coach Dan Campbell noted Wednesday that the wideout has "turned the corner over the last month," while adding that the Lions are "pretty optimistic" that the 2022 first-rounder will play at some point this season. Williams -- who suffered his knee injury last January during the National Championship Game -- thus remains without a concrete timetable for a potential return to game action.
Oct 19, 2022 10:36 AM EST
Williams (knee) is making progress, but coach Dan Campbell said the Lions won't designate him to return from the reserve/NFI list until after their Week 6 bye, Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire reports.
Analysis: While he technically could come off the NFI list and play as soon as Week 5, there was never much expectation of the first-round pick contributing before the bye. Early feedback from Chris Godwin and Michael Gallup provides hope Williams can earn a role by midseason, as the two veteran wideouts (both of whom played Week 4) suffered ACL tears not long before Williams fell to the same injury in the CFP National Championship Game. Once he's ready, Williams will challenge for the perimeter snaps that have mostly gone to DJ Chark and Josh Reynolds so far.
Oct 5, 2022 12:30 PM EST
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