Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams has stepped up in a major way this season. With D’Andre Swift out for the past couple of weeks with shoulder and ankle injuries, Williams has had to fill his shoes and he’s done so phenominally.
Williams, like several other Lions, was born and raised in California. He attended Summit High School before heading to Utah for college at BYU. He played four years of college football with the Cougars and left quite a legacy. The running back was not only the fourth player in school history to tally multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons, but he also departed as the program’s all-time leader in rushing yards (3,901), rushing attempts (726), and rushing games (16).
The 27-year-old was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. At the 134th pick overall, he was just the 13th running back selected in that year’s draft. He actually scored his first career touchdown while playing against the Detroit Lions in 2017. He would play four seasons with Green Bay before signing a two-year contract with the Detroit Lions.
So far this season, Williams has had a great showing both personally and professionally.
Here is a list of his accomplishments:
- Rushed for six touchdowns through four games, tying Barry Sanders for the most rushing touchdowns a Lion has had through the first four games of a season since 1991.
- His six touchdowns is a single-season career high.
- Became the first NFL player since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005, and the first Lions player ever to produce three multi-rushing touchdown games within the first four games of a season.
- Logged a career-high 51-yard rush in Week 4 against the Seattle Seahawks. This accomplishment is also the longest rushing touchdown at Ford Field by a Lion since Jahvid Best rushed for 88-yards in 2011.
- Became the first Lions player to rush for 100 yards and produce two touchdowns in a home game since Kevin Smith did so in 2011.
- He produced 19 carries for 108 yards and two touchdowns against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4.
- Rushed for two touchdowns in Week 3 against the Minnesota Vikings to become the first player since Barry Sanders to rush for multiple touchdowns at Minnesota since 1991, and the fifth overall.
- In the Week 3 game against the Vikings, he became the fourth player in franchise history to produce two multi-rushing touchdown games within the first three games of a season.
Jamaal Williams has proven to be the go-to guy when it comes to getting that crucial extra yard or two. He’s a force to be reckoned with. Dan Campbell says it’s hard to not give him the ball in those situations.
“I’m a little more aggressive by nature, but I also – those fourth-and-1s, I trust our offensive line and (Lions RB) Jamaal (Williams), not that you’re always going to run it or hand it to him, but it’s hard not to.”
While he’s seen more touches with Swift out, Campbell says Williams is definitely a weapon they will be using strategically.
“I mean, Jamaal he’s a work horse, man, he gets in there and he just – he’s very consistent and he’s going to give you a full day’s work. You can always count on it and since he took more of the load you saw the production come out of there. And I think – what it does is it just enables you. When Swift comes back, you’ll be very particular on what plays you’re giving him. Most bang for his buck, that you’re putting a load on him to where he gets exposed to injury. So, that’s where it helps you. But certainly, we trust Jamaal.”
Swift has participated in practice this week. He said on Wednesday that he is really pushing to play on Sunday in Dallas.
Jamaal Williams’ Personality Shines
It’s no secret Williams is an absolute character. He is 100% himself through and through, and he teaches that to his teammates as well. You’ll see Williams on the practice field doing a dance during warm-ups, but then you see him working his butt off when it’s time to go.
He knows when to turn it on and when to turn it off, but to never lose the love of the game. While he may be silly at times, it’s apparent he has a winning mentality and he’s here for one job. One of the most memorable scenes in HBO’s Hard Knocks this preseason was him breaking down the team at the end of the day. He was visibly emotional during his speech. Watch it here:
He is a true leader on and off the field with a ceiling that is still yet to be determined. He will be a player to keep your eye out for all season long.
The Detroit Lions will take on the Cowboys in Dallas this Sunday at 1pm ET.
Maddy Miller – Detroit Lions Beat Reporter
On Twitter: @madelynvmillerr
Lions RB Jamaal Williams in ‘career-best’ shape says trainer
Detroit Lions v. Minnesota Vikings: Takeaways
The Stafford Sisters do the Jamaal Williams