Dan Campbell Offers New Timetable on Jameson Williams Injury Return

Dan Campbell

Getty Dan Campbell coaching the Lions against the Bears in 2021.

The Detroit Lions drafted injured wideout Jameson Williams with the idea that he might not be ready to see the field come training camp, and already, that looks to be the case.

Detroit doesn’t seem like they want to rush Williams back, which has been proven by Lions head coach Dan Campbell when he spoke about his plans for the player the rest of the summer and toward camp.

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Speaking to the media before practice on Thursday, June 9, Campbell offered perhaps his most sound timeline for Williams since he joined the team. It’s not looking as if the speedy wideout will be a go for the first day of camp in over a month.

“We’ll have a plan for him moving forward. He’s going to be around here with us. In the short period of time in which he does go home, we know where he’s going to be and who those people are. We’re going to have a plan for him,” Campbell admitted on Thursday.

Even though the recovery process seems to be going well, Campbell doesn’t seem to think that Williams will be on the field for the first day of training camp in late July, which is over a month away.

“That being said, I don’t see him being ready for training camp. I don’t see that. I’m very hopeful, but I don’t see it. We’re going to do this thing the right way, and when he’s ready, he’ll be ready. I don’t feel like you’re going to see him out there day one,” Campbell said.

The Lions need Williams to be good for his career and not simply for 2022, so this timeline isn’t a big deal in Detroit. In fact, it might only be good news when all is said and done that the team is likely to give Williams his time.

Williams’ Return Was Projected by Lions Insider

This kind of timetable for Williams matches up with what folks have been expecting from the beginning. Writing in a recent mailbag segment, Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com was asked about when Williams could be ready to go for the 2022 season. As he explained, it wouldn’t be a shock if that timetable was indeed earlier in the season rather than later but not quite Week 1. Why? The simple reason of timing, and the fact that Williams will need to get up to game and practice speed.

“If I had to make a guess, I’d say Week 4 at home vs. Seattle we could see Williams on the field and making an impact, but here’s hoping for Week 1 just because I’m really excited to watch him in this offense,” Twentyman wrote in the piece.

Twentyman’s timeline seems fair, and matches with what Campbell and the team could have in mind. It would allow Williams time to ease his way back into action come July and August and then start to ramp things up as September comes along. Such a scenario would allow the Lions to not only ease Williams back in and ensure his health, but allow the player to come back on the early side for himself as well.

As predictions go, this is a pretty good one for the Lions and Williams. It only looks more true given the recent information from Campbell, as well.

Lions Smart Not to Rush Williams Back

Credit Campbell and the Lions for being smart in this case. If the team doesn’t feel Williams is ready to come back quickly either in preseason, training camp or the regular season, they shouldn’t rush him along. It’s not overstating matters to say Williams is one of Detroit’s most important young pieces in a long time given what he means to the offense. Making sure he is completely ready and healthy is of utmost importance to the Lions at this point in time, so Williams should not be rushed back even if it’s obvious the Lions need him in a big way this season to make dynamic plays.

Williams’ future with the team is more important than the 2022 present, so no matter whether it’s Week 4, Week 10 or Week 14, the team needs to do their diligence with his progress.

Right now, it seems as if that is what the team is going to do.

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