Lions Rumors: Execs Believe Jameson Williams Will Return from Injury in October

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 9, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 28: (L-R) Jameson Williams poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell onstage after being selected 12th by the Detroit Lions during round one of the 2022 NFL Draft on April 28, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
David Becker/Getty Images

Detroit Lions first-round pick Jameson Williams is recovering from a torn ACL, and his status for the 2022 season remains in question. But it appears likely that the young wide receiver will make an appearance at some point during his rookie campaign. 

According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler: "Most execs I spoke to believe October is the sweet spot for his return from a torn ACL, maybe November. Williams told reporters he'll be ready for training camp, which he very well could be. His recovery is going smoothly. But Detroit will likely ramp up his activity slowly until he is completely ready."

Williams, 21, tore his ACL in January's College Football Playoff Championship, a 33-18 win for Georgia over Alabama. 

It followed a superb season, as Williams posted 79 catches for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns, emerging as one of college football's most explosive weapons. It was his lone season at Alabama after transferring from Ohio State, where he found himself buried on a deep wide receiver depth chart behind players like Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. 

Somewhat fittingly, Wilson (No. 10 overall to the New York Jets) and Olave (No. 11 overall to the New Orleans Saints) were selected right before the Lions traded up to take Williams at No. 12, after they had already selected Michigan pass-rusher Aidan Hutchison with the No. 2 overall pick.

Perhaps without the ACL injury, Williams might have been the top receiver off the board. Regardless, he sounded happy to land in Detroit. 

 "I'm looking forward to it, for real," he said last week on Complex Sports Live. "Football, it's what I do. ... They traded up for a reason, trusted me and my playmaking ability. We're gonna put everything together after my rehab and we're gonna show the world."

Field Yates @FieldYates

Lions WR Jameson Williams on his recovery from a torn ACL in January: “I should be ready to go by training camp. I’m shooting for training camp.”

Paula Pasche @paulapasche

Lions WR Jameson Williams didn't run at the Combine (he's coming off ACL surgery) but says if he would have, it would have been the fastest time ever.

Suddenly, the Lions have an intriguing collection of weapons for quarterback Jared Goff, with Williams joining Amon-Ra St. Brown, T.J. Hockenson and D.J. Chark in the passing game.

But Williams will add a level of explosiveness the others don't possess, however, which likely played the biggest part in Lions general manager Brad Holmes pulling the trigger to move up and select him. 

"With Jameson, specifically, he was a guy where there was total buy-in, total conviction," he said. "I was just in love with him. I said, 'Look, this is a guy that we want to get and I think he can be a game-changer for us.'"

The question remains precisely when he can serve as that game-changer. For now, at least, it sounds like Williams will indeed be suiting up for the Lions at some point in the 2022 season.