The much-anticipated NFL debut of Detroit Lions rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams is on in Detroit.
The No. 12 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft, who returned to practice last week after spending the last 11 months rehabbing a torn ACL suffered in college while at Alabama, is active for the Lions Sunday as they host the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Williams caught 79 passes for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns last season for Alabama. Four of those 15 touchdowns came from 70-plus yards, while the other 11 were all from 30-plus yards. He joins a Lions' offense that currently ranks seventh in the NFL with 40 receptions of 20-plus yards. Coaches and teammates have talked all week about how Williams' speed is on a different level. Now Lions fans finally get to see it for themselves.
It's unclear just how much Williams will play, but it's likely the team will have him on a limited snap count in his first game action in 11 months. The team made wide receiver Tom Kennedy inactive Sunday, which means Williams will join Amon-Ra St. Brown, DJ Chark, Josh Reynolds and Kalif Raymond as Detroit's active receivers vs. a Jaguars' defense that ranks 24th in total defense and 25th against the pass.
Williams was activated off the NFI list on Saturday, along with veteran defensive lineman Romeo Okwara (PUP list), but Okwara will have to wait at least another week to make his 2022 debut. Okwara's been rehabbing a torn Achilles for over a year, and though he's on the active roster as of Saturday, he is inactive for Sunday's contest.
Okwara joins Kennedy, cornerback Amani Oruwariye, guard Logan Stenberg, guard Evan Brown and defensive lineman Michael Brockers on Detroit's inactive list vs. Jacksonville.
With Brown missing his second straight game due to an ankle injury suffered Week 11 in the win over the Giants, the Lions will likely look to start Kayode Awosika at right guard for a second straight week. Detroit does get Pro Bowl guard Jonah Jackson back at left guard after he missed the Thanksgiving game against Buffalo with a concussion. The Lions also get cornerback Jeff Okudah back after he missed the Bills game with a concussion.