There was a point late in last Sunday's blowout win over Jacksonville when the Ford Field faithful started chanting for rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams.
Williams said this week it was pretty crazy to hear his name being chanted like that, but he understood last week was more about easing him back into the mix and getting his feet under him after not playing in a game in 11 months.
"As bad as I wanted to do more, it wasn't about that. It was about what they said, getting my feet under me and making sure everything was good," Williams said.
Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson has been consistent over the last couple weeks since Williams has returned to practice in saying Williams' reps will increase the more chemistry he builds with quarterback Jared Goff.
"It's encouraging to finally get some opportunities to hook up in practice both in routes on air and in competitive periods because that chemistry as we talked about last week, that's critical, that's big," Johnson said this week. "Knowing where he's going to be, what the top of his breaks going to look liks or our quarterback can anticipate that throw, that goes a long way."
Williams said the extra week of work with Goff has been so important for him in that regard.
"It's helped a lot," he said. "We've gotten more and more reps as the days have gone on. It's helped a lot."
It's expected the extra week of practice and more opportunity to build chemistry with Goff should lead to more reps this week against the Vikings.
"That's up to the coaches on that part (giving me more playing time)," Williams said. "But I'll be ready for that if it comes for sure."
REINFORCEMENTS ON THE WAY
This Lions team is much different than the one that lost in Minneapolis Week 3.
Just consider this list of impact players who didn't suit up in that Week 3 contest for the Lions: Guard Jonah Jackson, defensive lineman John Cominsky, cornerback Jerry Jacobs, fullback Jason Cabinda, Williams, defensive lineman Romeo Okwara, defensive lineman Josh Paschal, kicker Michael Badgley and linebacker James Houston, to name a few.
There's a lot of impact there the Lions are hoping to tap into Sunday as they look to turn the tide in their favor this time around.
It's that time of year when the flu bug and other winter-time illnesses are in full swing. The Lions have been dealing with some of that this week as cornerback Jeff Okudah, wide receiver Kalif Raymond and backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld missed practice Wednesday and Thursday.
It was good to see Okudah and Raymond back at practice on Friday as the Lions put their finishing touches on their prep work for Sunday.
While the Lions did a nice job limiting All-Pro Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson in the first matchup (3 rec., 14 yds), Vikings veteran wide receiver Adam Thielen caught six passes for 61 yards and a touchdown, including a couple key catches late in that game.
Amani Oruwariye was Detroit's No. 2 cornerback in the first contest, and he allowed nine catches on 11 targets for 79 yards and a touchdown. He was also flagged five times for illegal contact, holding and pass interference penalties.
Second-year cornerback Jerry Jacobs is now Detroit's No. 2 cornerback. He has been really good for the Lions since returning from an ACL injury suffered last season. Opposing passers have a 53.6 completion percentage throwing Jacobs' way with a 73.2 passer rating. He has yet to allow a touchdown in his coverage.
"He's highly competitive, he's very tough and he looks at himself as a total package as a corner," Lions head coach Dan Campbell said of Jacobs on Friday. "He's not scared. He's not worried about getting beat. He can put it behind him and go to the next one, which you have to. Quarterbacks and cornerbacks have to have very short memories to have success in this league because things are going to happen. They always do, and he's got all of those."
Through the first 12 games of the season, the Lions offensive line has allowed 19 sacks, tied for the third fewest in the NFL. They've also paved the way for 18 rushing touchdowns, tied for the third most in the NFL.