Latest timeline for Lions WR Jameson Williams’ return: ‘At least probably another month’

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Lions remain optimistic Jameson Williams will play this fall, but Lions coach Dan Campbell said the rookie wide receiver likely will not see the field until at least December.

“We feel like we’re going to have him before this season’s out,” Campbell said Wednesday. “It’s hard to say when that’s going to be. I would say at least probably another month. But I do feel like we’re going to get him before this is said and done.”

Williams, the No. 12 pick of April’s NFL draft, has been working his way back from a torn ACL he suffered last January in Alabama’s national championship game loss to Georgia.

Campbell reiterated Wednesday that Williams has made significant progress in his rehab in recent weeks, but the Lions will not rush his return to the field.

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The Lions, owners of the NFL’s highest-scoring offense the first month of the season, have failed to score a touchdown in their past two games as their skill positions have been decimated by injury.

Running back D’Andre Swift has not played since spraining his shoulder in a Week 3 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, though he could return this week against the Miami Dolphins, and receiver DJ Chark is on injured reserve with pain in his surgically repaired ankle.

The Lions also have played most of their past three games without receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. St. Brown missed a Week 4 loss to the Seattle Seahawks with a high ankle sprain, played sparingly through the injury in a Week 5 game against the New England Patriots, and took a hit to the head early in last week’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys and spent the rest of the game in concussion protocol.

St. Brown never was diagnosed with a concussion and is expected to play Sunday.

The Lions, 1-5 and losers of four straight, play five games between now and their Nov. 24 Thanksgiving date with the Buffalo Bills.

If Williams returns to practice before Thanksgiving, he could play as early as the Lions’ Dec. 4 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to Campbell’s timeline. He is expected to add a deep threat to the Lions’ passing game once healthy.

“There’s still hope,” Campbell said. “There again, he’s put together a pretty good month, a real good month.”

Contact Dave Birkett at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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