Execs Reveal Likely Timetable for Jameson Williams Return to Insider

Jameson Williams

Getty Jameson Williams celebrates after a CFP win in 2021.

When the Detroit Lions traded up to snag wideout Jameson Williams in the 2022 NFL draft, it was likely with the realization that he would need some time to forge a comeback.

Williams, dealing with an ACL injury, has been making very positive progress which he admits, but the Lions probably want to see him come along a bit slower so they are protected a bit on their end and so Williams has the best chance at a positive future with the team.

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ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler took a closer look at some of the intelligence that has been making rounds after the draft as it relates to selections and players, and when it came to Detroit, Williams was the topic. As Fowler explained, most of the executives think that Williams will come along at his own pace off the injury and might take a few months to ease back into action.

“Most expects I spoke to believe October is the sweet spot for his return from a torn ACL, maybe November,” Fowler wrote, noting the Lions could “likely ramp up his activity slowly until he is completely ready.”

For Detroit, this is the right approach. The Lions need to keep Williams healthy and engaged as part of the program not just now but for the long term as well. It’s likely he will make a bigger impact in time, but the early timetable according to the insiders matches what the Lions need to be doing with their new star.

Williams Predicts Quicker Injury Return

While the Detroit brass was tight-lipped after picking Williams about when he could become ready off a devastating ACL injury during the 2022 College Football Playoff, Williams himself was not so reserved. He wants fans to know he is planning on being back for training camp in a few more months.

As Williams told the media on Friday, April 29, he is lotting a return for camp in what might be a bit of a shocking development given the complexities and dangers with such injuries. Even such, Williams seems to be doing well enough to gain this confidence.

“Lions WR Jameson Williams, recovering from a torn ACL, says he expects to be ready by training camp. That would be big,” Ari Meirov tweeted.

Indeed it would be big for the Lions to have Williams ready for training camp, and the team will hope that this is the case. In the past, ACL injuries have been longer recoveries than they are now, and modern medicine is helping players come back faster and stronger in a bigger way than ever before.

It’s been said that Williams is having a solid recovery so far, and that’s great news for Detroit regardless of when he is officially back.

Why Lions Shouldn’t Rush Williams Back

Whether he’s ready or not, the Lions have incentive to bring Williams along at a slower pace. The team is more concerned about what Williams does in 2023 and beyond than his rookie season, thus the pressure should not be on him to come back quickly. Anything before the first five weeks of the season might be too early in order to keep Williams on the right path for his present and future and not risk further injury.

By trading up for Williams, the Lions sent the message that he can be the centerpiece of their offense, which is a big statement for any player, much less one coming off of injury. To protect their investment, the Lions have to find a way to keep Williams as healthy as possible early on in his career so he can avoid any bust or injury prone labels.

With this news, it seems as if that is what those in the know believe they will have to do in the end.

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