The Detroit Lions didn’t only lose starting cornerback Jeff Okudah for the season, but the offensive side of the ball got hit by the injury bug in the season opener, as well. No. 1 receiver Tyrell Williams took a big shot over the middle of the field in the third quarter and did not return to the game.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell confirmed on Monday that Williams is currently in concussion protocol.
Williams was signed this offseason to a one-year, $4 million deal to be the team’s top receiver after the Lions let Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola all walk in free agency this year.
Detroit’s wide receiver room was already looking pretty shaky going into the season. Their other offseason signing, former first-round pick Breshad Perriman, struggled in camp—both in production and in health—and was among the team’s final cuts.
Instead, the Lions are left with rookie slot receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, free agent signing Kalif Raymond, last year’s fifth-round pick in Quintez Cephus and newly traded for Trinity Benson. Going into the season, that set of receivers had started a total of six NFL games.
Campbell said they like their group of receivers, but given how young they are, there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
“We made some plays, but we didn’t make enough to win the game,” Campbell said. “Amon-Ra did a good job, but it was Amon-Ra’s first NFL football game against a very good team, good defense. He’s no different than all those other guys. It’s something to build off of.”
At this point, it’s unclear when Williams will be able to return. The NFL concussion protocols require a player to slowly work their way through both non-football activities and full-football activities without experiencing any symptoms.
The Lions’ next game is a trip to Green Bay for a Monday night showdown with the Packers. Perhaps that extra day will help Williams be ready by game day, but at this point it’s far too early to tell.