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O'HARA: Williams enjoying the competition in joint practices

Jamaal Williams had to run through a substantial number of the Indianapolis Colts' defenders to reach the end zone.

When he got there, he reacted the way you'd expect from a Lion – and from an emotional running back who plays for the Detroit Lions and loves the game of football.

Williams let out a series of roars, with his hands raised.

Why the emotion – especially in the second joint practice with the Colts two days before the teams meet in a preseason game Saturday afternoon?

"I'm just getting ready for the season," Williams said. "Let people know ... I'm getting in the end zone. That's it. They aren't going to stop me.

"I like the competition. I'd much rather be playing gameday. Get that in. Call it a day. But this is great."

Williams' role as a backup with the Lions is stronger than most players in similar situations. He is an inspiring leader, as he was for four seasons with the Green Bay Packers before signing with the Lions as a free agent in 2021.

He led the Lions in rushing with a career high of 601 yards despite missing four games with injuries.

In addition to the TD run, he had a long gain early in practice on a run down the right sideline.

Plainly, Williams loves football and a lot of the elements that go with it besides gameday in the regular season. That's apparent when you watch him play catch with fans in the stands before going out on the field for pregame warmup.

Preseason practices with another team are something he accepts as part of getting ready to play games that count in the standings.

"It felt good to be out there and get that competition in," Williams said. "And really, just to show what we're about during practice. You can tell our energy about each other.

"It's great to go against another team and show that energy to them, and show them how we practice."

View photos from Day 2 of Lions-Colts joint practice on Thursday August 18, 2022.

The Lions' offense wasn't as productive or as sharp on Thursday as they were in Wednesday's first practice against the Colts. Williams saw some good in Thursday's practice, even if it wasn't as good as Wednesday's.

"We were moving," he said. "We were running. There were just some plays that didn't go, or we miscommunicated on. Our fault. Our mistakes. We dropped the ball. We didn't run a right route.

"Other than that, we were moving. We brought the energy."

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