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Williams, Lions wide receivers looking to show what they can do

One of the big question marks still surrounding the Detroit Lions' offense about a week into training camp is just how much playmaking and production they'll get from their mostly new receiving corps.

Tyrell Williams missed all of last season with a shoulder injury, former first-round pick Breshad Perriman is on his fifth team in six seasons, and veteran Kalif Raymond has made his biggest impact as a return man on special teams so far in his career.

Quintez Cephus had a solid rookie season for Detroit last year, and the team drafted Amon Ra-St. Brown in the fourth round of this year's NFL Draft, so they're excited about his potential, but it's a group with a lot to prove.

Williams, who early on has looked to be quarterback Jared Goff’s favorite target among the receivers, said he feels like he's been unheralded most of his career. What a perfect opportunity he has here in Detroit. He hopes to change the narrative for both himself personally, and for this receiver corps.

"I kind of feel like I've been overlooked my whole career," Williams said recently. "I came in undrafted, so I kind of have that chip on my shoulder that I always play with. It definitely fuels you. You want to get the recognition that you feel like you deserve and stuff, but I feel like we have a great group of receivers.

"We have a couple veteran guys, me and BP (Perriman). I really feel like we have a chip on our shoulder to go out there and prove that we can play."

Williams was a 1,000-yard receiver in his second season with the Chargers in 2016. He caught at least 40 passes for 650 yards in each of the next three seasons with the Chargers (2017-18) and Raiders (2019) with 14 combined touchdowns. But last year he was placed on season-ending injured reserve by Las Vegas in early September after suffering a torn labrum. The Raiders released Williams in February, and he signed with Detroit a few weeks later at the start of free agency.

"I'm excited," Williams said of being back healthy and on the football field. "Being out all last year, it's the first time I really missed a season my whole life. It was definitely weird sitting back and watching, so I'm just glad to be out here healthy and having fun."

For the most part, the Lions receivers have been overlooked this offseason and heading into camp. People just don't know what to expect from these guys yet. But Williams said he likes the group assembled and is looking forward to showing what they can do.

"There's nothing better in this game, or any sport for that matter, when you feel like people have overlooked you and that you're not good enough, or you don't do this well enough, or this player is better than you, or somebody got paid more than you did," Lions head coach Dan Campbell said about players having a chip on their shoulder.

"Whatever your motivation is – it does. If you are a true competitor, it gives you a kick in the rear. It does. I like that and I know the guys that we brought in here, they love it. We've got something to prove and we want to prove it."

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