Jameson Williams building trust, finding role in Lions’ offense

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DETROIT — Trailing the Chicago Bears 26-14 with less than 4 minutes remaining, the confidence of Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams never wavered.

“Touchdown” was Williams’ first thought before Jared Goff dropped back to find him in the end zone for a 32-yard score.

“It’s just something I’ve been waiting on for a little minute. You know how it go,” Williams told ESPN. “The patience, it was there, but it’s just a big play for the team that needed to be made, and I just stepped up when my number was called.”

Detroit marched up the field on their next series in which running back David Montgomery completed the comeback with a touchdown from the goal line to secure a 31-26 victory.

Now, as the Lions prepare to host the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, Williams has earned the trust of his teammates and the coaching staff, which could mean an increased role in the offense.

“He’s part of the herd. He’s been accepted, and the way he works and the way he goes and he blocks and he’s starting to run some pretty good routes and he’s making some catches and there’s a lot of guys that are beginning to trust him, and that’s been earned,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. “No different than anybody else had to earn it, whoever you are — offensive lineman, receiver, back — man, you got to earn your right.

“And, man, he’s putting in the work, so that was good to see. It was a huge moment, it was a huge play, and he just keeps getting better and better and better.”

Williams’ three career touchdowns have come on passes of 30 or more yards. He also has had two touchdowns nullified by penalties.

One last season, when a holding call voided what would have been a 66-yard touchdown catch in the season finale at Green Bay. Williams had a 10-yard touchdown wiped out against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 10 as well, but he continues to keep a positive attitude through the highs and lows.

“Yeah, the last couple of weeks for him have been so good. He’s practiced so well,” Goff said. “We do trust him now. We trust him a lot, and I do trust him to make that throw in that situation.

“He’s doing a hell of a job blocking, he’s doing all of his assignments correctly, and he’s doing a really, really good job. It’s starting to come on really nicely for us. The level to which our offense could possibly go with him continuing to progress is pretty exciting.”

Goff has made it a point to try and build an on-field connection with Williams.

Williams, the No. 12 pick of the 2022 NFL draft, has not had an ideal start to his NFL career. He missed the first 11 games of his rookie season as he recovered from a left ACL tear suffered in college. He also sat out the first four games of this season while serving a suspension for violating the NFL’s gambling policy.

He told ESPN that he’s more appreciative of his recent success because of his bumpy path. And he said he is focused on the team and his developing relationship with Goff.

“I feel like our trust level been up there, it’s just like things happen and the ball goes the other way. It’s not his fault, it’s not my fault. It’s nobody’s fault. It’s just how the play turns out,” Williams said. “As things keep going, and the ball is spread around a lot, I think we can just show as many playmakers as we’ve got on our team. That’s probably the thing with that. I feel like our trust level has always been there with me and him since we first started. It’s like the quarterback throws the receiver the ball, it’s easy.

“I don’t really be tripping off that. It’s coming from a lot of people who, at first, never put on cleats, or have never been on the field for real and it’s just like, them observing. It’s nothing to really trip off of. You just do your thing, and you shake back, and you do what you do.”

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