There’s something brewing in Detroit. Not since the days of Barry Sanders have fans felt such a palpable buzz. First, the Lions tame the Falcons. Then, they march into Lambeau and silence the Packers. Now, as if the football gods have a soft spot for the Motor City, comes the news of Jameson Williams early return. Originally set for a week 7 return, Williams will now unleash his cheetah-like speed against the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 8 at Ford Field.
The Electric Jameson Williams
In a league filled with talent, certain players stand out, not just for their skill but for the electricity they bring. Williams is one such talent. Coach Dan Campbell, never one to mince words, declared in his signature directness, “he can run, and he’s been able to create so much separation where he came from that it was…his explosive speed, man, there’ll be a level of separation, you’d like to believe, different than most.”
Last year gave us a teaser—a 41-yard touchdown that felt like a statement more than a play. As Williams returns, it’s not just him the defenses should worry about. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Reynolds, Sam LaPorta, and Jahmyr Gibbs, all will find more room, more freedom, with Williams stretching the field.
Behind the Suspension Curtain
The initial six-game penalty for violating the league’s gambling policy seemed severe for Williams. It was a murmur, then a talk, then an outcry. The rules were new, perhaps not as clear-cut as they should’ve been. The NFL and the NFL Players Union took note, and the policies were revised. Williams’ penalty, thankfully, was reduced. Justice, it seems, has a place even in the rough and tumble of the NFL.
Williams’ hamstring injury late in training camp was a concern, but it’s in the rearview now. And with a roster spot open, thanks to Matt Nelson’s shift to IR, the stage is set.
On the Horizon
Mitch Albom once wrote, “We all yearn for what we have lost. But sometimes, we forget what we have.” For the Lions, what they have is a reinvigorated team, a 10-day breather post the Packers showdown, and the impending return of Jameson Williams. The Carolina Panthers await, and Ford Field will surely resonate with the roars of anticipation.
For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21
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Original Photo Credit: © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK