ALLEN PARK, Mich. — After serving a four-game suspension for gambling, Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams is fired up to get his season started when Detroit hosts the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
While the coaches have not said if he will be active, Williams expects to play.
“I feel like I would. I was suited up today,” Williams said after Tuesday’s padded practice.
The 22-year-old Williams was able to return to practice this week, two weeks earlier than expected, after the NFL revised its gambling policy last week. The league reinstated three players, including Williams, who previously received six–game suspensions.
“The whole time I was staying in shape, I was catching. I was doing those things to where when I get back I’ll be ready,” Williams said. “I guess that happened. I’m ready for it now. I just have to tune up some small little things and I’ll be ready to go.”
He was not allowed any contact with the team during the suspension, but he caught 100 balls a day using a JUGS machine at his home. He also worked out twice a day. He said his worst day was watching his team open the season at Kansas City while he was at home.
Williams doesn’t expect it will take much time to get back in sync with quarterback Jared Goff.
“We had time at camp. We just had some time today. After practice we did stuff, whatever he thinks is good, we need,” Williams said. “So I don’t think it will take a lot of time. It will be good work when we get going.”
“It’s just getting him reps. Whenever you’re off for that long you just need reps to get back into it, feel the speed of it, run some plays and be on the field with all of us,” Goff said.
Williams injured a hamstring in an Aug. 17 practice, which sidelined him until his suspension started. He says the hamstring is fine now. He played in one preseason game in August, catching two passes for 36 yards.
“It’s just about polishing all the little things and we also know if he does play, he can’t play 60 plays,” coach Dan Campbell said. “That’s not smart, so we can’t do that to him. So, we’ll see where it goes and it’s all about improvement. No different than the rest of the team, man.”
Campbell’s expectations are straightforward.
“I’m not looking for yards, I’m not looking for explosives, I’m not looking for touchdowns. Man, just be a reliable receiver like any of those guys in the room. That’s it,” Campbell said.
Williams, a first-round pick in 2022, was limited to six games as a rookie due to injury. His only reception went for a 41-yard touchdown. He also had a 40-yard run on a reverse, his only carry.
NOTES: CB Emmanuel Moseley (knee/hamstring) practiced Tuesday and could make his season debut Sunday. “He’s another guy we’d like to see if we can get him going this week,” Campbell said. … G Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee) and S Kerby Joseph (hip) returned to practice Tuesday. Both were inactive the previous two games. … WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (toe) and FB Jason Cabinda (knee) worked with trainers on the sideline. … DB Brian Branch (ankle) did not practice. … The NFL moved the Lions’ game at Tampa Bay on Sunday, Oct. 15 to a 4:25 p.m. start time. Kickoff was originally scheduled for 1 p.m.