The Detroit Lions have been trying to get their roster healthier much of the season, and as the critical stretch run beckons, it’s clear the team will once again
Two of the players who figure to be the most important for returns are wideout Jameson Williams and edge rusher Romeo Okwara. While both have seen their practice windows come open, who is closer to returning?
Speaking to the media on Monday, November 28, Campbell discussed where his duo is at. As he said, the plan may not involve a return to action for the players in Week 13, after all.
“I think that would be a tall order (to return). Anything’s open. I think we need to see them be able to pull quite a few reps with high intensity and contact and versatility and whatever the job description would be. I don’t want to say wouldn’t happen, but it would take a lot this week to bring them up,” Campbell said honestly.
Even though that is the case, Campbell did admit that anything could happen throughout the week depending on how both players bounce back.
“We’re open to anything. They’re certainly going to get more reps than they’ve gotten this week. So we’re going to get a real good look at them,” Campbell admitted.
Neither Okwara nor Williams has played a snap this season, and both have been rehabbing offseason knee surgeries. Okwara’s recovery has been long and has gone over a year now, given the injury occurred last September. Williams has been much shorter, as his injury was in January.
No matter when the duo is ready, they could mean a great deal to the Lions down the stretch on offense and defense. The team needs to create more explosive plays, and that’s Williams’ specialty. On defense, the Lions need to rush the passer way better. Okwara will bring that to the mix.
Whenever the group returns, which could still be in early to mid-December, expect the Lions to get a major boost on both sides of the ball.
Williams Was Speculated to Potentially Return Week 12
The news could be a bit frustrating for some fans given what broke this past week about Williams’ availability and his potential for a quick return.
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the Lions will be getting Williams soon, perhaps as soon as Week 13 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“The Lions obviously won’t have rookie WR Jameson Williams today, but as he looks to return from a torn ACL in college, he’s coming soon. This week’s wasn’t a full-speed practice, but next week’s will be. If he makes it through unscathed, there is a good chance he’s activated,” Rapoport wrote.
It always seemed like Williams would be more likely to come back in December, and that had been rumored since the start for the Lions. With Rapoport’s commentary, it seems like that is going to be the case.
Right now, it might not be Week 13, but the Lions could be looking forward to a Week 14 or Week 15 arrival for their biggest offensive weapon.
Williams Gained Value With Practice Last Week
By opening the practice window on Williams, the Lions were able to get their rookie wideout some much needed action last week. According to Campbell, getting Williams some live action was huge for the team and for the player.
“We did some one-on-ones with him. That’s really what he got. After we got done with the walkthroughs, we had them running routes. Timing, throws, things of that nature. He was fine. There again, it’s on air. At least it gets him kind of in that mode and we can coach backwards from there,” he said.
As Campbell admitted, the Lions should be able to get Williams back into the fold in a bigger and better way this coming week.
“Now this week, we’ll really give him a look against someone covering him. We’ll get some one-on-one work, DB’s covering him, he can run scout cards. Team work. All of that will be good for him,” Campbell said.
Whether it’s good enough for Williams to make his long-awaited debut in Week 13 remains to be seen. At this point, though, it still seems as if that playing out is a long shot according to the coach.