Allen Park — Rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams and veteran defensive end Romeo Okwara are both inching closer to returning to the filed for the Detroit Lions, but it sounds like neither is likely to play this Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Yeah, man, I think that would be a tall order,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. “I think we need to be able to see them be able to pull quite a few reps with high intensity and contact, versatility and whatever the job description would be. I don’t want to say it wouldn’t happen, but it would take a lot this week to feel good about bringing them up.
“There again, we’re open to anything, and they’re certainly going to get more reps than they’ve gotten this week,” Campbell said. “So we’re going to get a real good look at them.”
Okwara, the team’s sack leader from two seasons ago, returned to practice on Nov. 16, a little more than 13 months after he tore his Achilles. That gives the Lions another week another week before they are required to add him to the active roster.
Returning from a torn ACL suffered in January, the team started Williams’ three-week practice clock last Monday, giving him up to two more weeks to get acclimated. In those first few days of practice, the team took it slowly, largely having him run routes against air to work on his timing. The plan is to introduce him to reps against defenders starting this Wednesday.
“It was on air, but at least it gets him in that mold and you can coach backwards from there,” Campbell said. “Now, this week, we’ll really give him a look against somebody covering him. We’ll get some one-on-one work with him, (defensive backs) covering him. We’ll get team work, he can run scout cards, so all that will be good for him.”
And while Williams and Okwara are still likely at least a week away, Campbell offered optimism the team will have three key starters back on the field against Jacksonville: Cornerbacks Jeff Okudah and Jerry Jacobs and left guard Jonah Jackson.
Okudah and Jackson missed last Thursday’s game with concussions. They’re each in stage three of the league’s five-step, return-to-play protocol, and barring any unforeseen setbacks, both are expected to be fully cleared by Sunday.
Jacobs exited Thursday’s game against Buffalo in the second half to be evaluated for a concussion, but was ultimately cleared following the contest and isn’t in protocol.