ALLEN PARK, Mich. — While there was initial optimism that Detroit Lions rookie receiver Jameson Williams might be available in time for training camp, head coach Dan Campbell doesn’t expect that to happen. occur as Williams continues to heal from his ACL injury.
“I don’t see him ready for training camp. I don’t see that,” Campbell said. “I have a lot of hope, 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. But, no, I don’t feel like you’re I’m going to see him there on Day 1.”
The Lions are watching their No. 12 pick closely and don’t want to rush his progress.
Williams was spotted around the training facility for rookie and mandatory minicamps, but he only watched from the sideline – while keeping a soccer ball in his hands – in anticipation of his return.
“We’ll have a plan for it to move forward,” Campbell said. “He’s going to be here with us and the short period of time he’s going home, we know where he’s going to be and who these people are. So we’re going to have a plan for him.”
Williams is expected to play an important role in the team’s future, which is why the front office traded 20 places to land him in the first round. The Alabama player tore his left ACL in January during the national championship game, but Detroit remained confident in his abilities.
Lions quarterback Jared Goff is among those in the organization looking forward to his return while trying to keep him engaged with the team this offseason. As a young player, Goff understands the value of staying involved.
“Very excited. He’s a special talent and I keep [saying] like “get it back, get it back,” Goff said. “And I know they’re going to make sure he’s as healthy as possible, but selfishly I want him back as soon as possible, but he’s still committed. He has the script in hand, he sees the plays, he’s doing a good job. Obviously he’s a great talent, but a big part of our team so far as well and I expect him to grow well in his role.”
As Goff watched Detroit rise to land him, he called the move “big.” Goff also admitted watching his highlight tape on draft night and said his ability to make people miss is what jumps off the screen and his speed.
“I think just doing my best to keep him involved and make sure he feels like he’s a part of what we’re doing,” Goff said. “And I’m not the only one, coaches do that and coaches and everybody, but I think that’s what happens sometimes when these guys have these long rehabs and you can feel like you not really a part of it and I’ve had long rehabs in the offseason So just make sure he feels love and he’s a part of what we do and that obviously will be a big part of what we do, hopefully sooner rather than later.