Lions GM hints at trouble with Jameson Williams

Jameson Williams #18 of the Detroit Lions. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Jameson Williams #18 of the Detroit Lions. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions general manager recently made some eyebrow-raising comments about Jameson Williams. Could something turbulent be brewing in Motor City?

There’s a reason the Detroit Lions traded up to get Jameson Williams even though Williams suffered an ACL injury that made him unplayable for his rookie season — there are quite a few, actually. His blazing-fast speed. His big-play ability. His extensive knowledge of the game.

The speedy Alabama wideout possessed high upside having recorded 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns in his final year at Alabama, and despite his injury, Williams was touted to become one of the Lions’ most talented young weapons of the future.

After a brief debut in 2022, Williams has every reason to enjoy a significant leap in production in Year 2, but general manager Brad Holmes made some off-hand comments that could worry Lions fans.

Holmes focused on the topic of accountability when discussing Williams’ future, noting that Williams “obviously has to hold his part and make sure he’s doing everything he needs to do.

Williams already exceeded expectations in his rookie year, mounting a successful recovery from his torn ACL and playing in the team’s final six games.

Jameson Williams is the darling wideout of the Lions franchise — or is he?

At the time, the Lions’ frantic rush to make the playoffs didn’t give Williams much room for error, and Williams was haphazardly dropped in the middle of a well-oiled offense with Amon-Ra St. Brown, D’Andre Swift, and Jamaal Williams, among others.

Williams ended up tallying just one reception on nine targets for 41 yards, playing 19 percent of offensive snaps.

With the Lions’ failed playoff bid hurting a bit less now, Detroit has a bright future to look forward to, and Williams can get himself better situated on the team leading up to the 2023 season.

So why is the Lions general manager making pointed comments on Williams’ accountability? Holmes’ biggest fear is probably seeing Williams re-injure himself and thus start his NFL career as an injury-prone receiver with durability issues.

Though the Lions didn’t give him many reps last season, they still seem to have Williams’ best interests at heart and want to incorporate Williams into the offense as much as they can, even if that means moving him to a special teams role as a part-time kick returner. (Williams was particularly effective as a kick returner during his time at Alabama, averaging 35.2 yards per return attempt and scoring twice on 10 attempts.)

Remember that Detroit traded up to pick Williams in the first round, so some members of the franchise’s front office may be sweating a little if Williams doesn’t work out. Still, the Lions have four picks in the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft — thank you, Matthew Stafford — and can continue building a young core while crossing their fingers that Williams stays healthy for the rest of his time in Detroit.

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