Lions WR Jameson Williams Under Fire After Embarrassing Miscue

Jameson Williams

Getty Jameson Williams drops a pass in a Detroit Lions game.

The Detroit Lions got a surprise when the NFL shortened the suspension for wide receiver Jameson Williams to four games on October 15, but his earlier-than-expected return has not answered lingering questions about the lack of on-field production dating back to last season.

Williams’ shortcomings are now under sharper focus after a game in which he had no receptions on six targets, including an embarrassing drop late in the fourth quarter. The Lions fell to the Baltimore Ravens 38-6 on October 22, struggling to move the ball on offense and having no answers for quarterback Lamar Jackson on defense.

After a difficult game, the Lions are facing growing questions about Williams, a second-year player, and what role he might play with the team.

Jameson Williams Possibly ‘Isn’t Going to Work Out’

While Williams struggled throughout the game and was unable to haul in any of his targets, he had a pair of drops late in the fourth quarter that summarized his difficult day. The first came with less than four minutes remaining, with quarterback Jared Goff finding Williams on a deep route but the ball bounced off his facemask and fell incomplete. The embarrassing moment caught some viral attention, with many sharing the clip on social media.

Williams again found his way behind the Ravens defense at the two-minute warning, streaking into the end zone but dropping what would have been a 47-yard touchdown.

Though the game was well out of hand by that point, the drops increased the scrutiny that Williams had already faced after an injury-shortened rookie season and a four-game gambling suspension to start his second NFL season.

Mike Payton of AtoZ Sports wrote that while it is too early to declare Williams a bust, he did not see a clear place for him in the Lions’ offense.

“I’ve been steadfast on the whole ‘give Jameson Williams time’ thing for a while now,” he wrote on October 22. “I’m a little more [restrained] than some who want to call any player a bust five minutes into their careers. We’re quite a while past five minutes at this point. I’m not saying the word bust, but I’m circling the idea that this whole experiment isn’t going to work out.”

Jameson Williams Faced Criticism in Training Camp

After contributing just one catch in his rookie year — though it did go for a 41-yard touchdown — Williams faced scrutiny going into his second year.’s John Maakaron noted that he struggled during training camp, especially in comparison to star receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.

“You have to put yourself in the context that I’m watching Amon-Ra every single day catch the ball every day, look crisp and understand the complete what he needs to be doing, and Jameson Williams isn’t there yet,” Maakaron said. “It’s not a slight, obviously he’s young and there are reasons for it, but what I’m saying is at this point you would still expect Jameson to be just further ahead than where he is.”

Williams also faced scrutiny for his off-field decision-making and maturity. Fans criticized Williams for a video on the Fourth of July that showed him lighting a firework, seen by some as a reckless act. That criticism grew later in training camp when he threw a punch at teammate Starling Thomas in frustration.

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