Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff said he did not take offense to teammate Jameson Williams’ social media post earlier this spring liking a suggestion the Lions trade for Lamar Jackson.
“You guys are bored, huh?” Goff said Tuesday on the first day of mandatory minicamp. “Yeah, it’s all right. He likes Lamar, that’s OK. I’ve got a lot of receivers I like but I love Jamo and we’re going to have a lot of fun this year.”
Williams’ social media activity has come under scrutiny since he liked a post late last season suggesting he needs the ball more.
After missing the first 12 weeks of the season while rehabbing from a torn ACL, Williams played a backup role in the final six games and had one catch for 41 yards, three drops and one 40-yard rush.
Williams, who was suspended six games this offseason for violating the NFL’s gambling policy, said last month people read too much into his social media activity and his post was not meant to be a shot at Goff.
Jackson, the Baltimore Ravens star quarterback and former MVP, was in a contract dispute with the Ravens and had requested a trade at the time Williams liked a photoshopped picture of Jackson in a Lions uniform.
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“It’s social media,” Williams said last month. “You probably liked something on Twitter that people had a question about. I’m not really sure why people question me or anything like that. I’m out here with Jared Goff, not Lamar Jackson. I just think he’s a real good player and things like that.”
Williams said he and Goff have “a perfect relationship” and that nothing has changed this offseason.
Williams joined several teammates at a throwing session with Goff in California this offseason, and has taken first- and second-team reps with the Lions offense this spring.
On Tuesday, Williams had a 32-yard catch-and-run on a pass from Goff during a situational two-minute period late in practice.
Goff acknowledged he and Williams are still developing chemistry, much as he’d need to with any other receiver he’s just beginning to work with.
“He’s done a great job and we just constantly communicate,” Goff said. “This is the same thing, conversation I had last year about DJ (Chark) and the year before with the new guys I was playing with then. It’s the same thing. You work with them and communicate. You tell them what you like, what you don’t like, what you’re seeing. He tells me the same thing. We get on the same page.”
Williams and Goff have two more minicamp practices this week to work on their chemistry, and Williams can take part in minicamp and preseason games this summer before his suspension begins in September.
He is expected to play a key role on offense this fall.
“He’s done a great job up to this point getting himself ready and just continue to work,” Goff said. “We didn’t get the reps last year at this time and being able to dive into some of this stuff with him has been so important for him and I. Yeah, I know we can’t wait to get him back. It’s unfortunate what happened, but he’s had a good attitude about it and has approached the right way.”
Hopkins a ‘hell of a player’
Goff offered no meaningful insight on his own eye-catching social media interaction, his decision to follow free agent receiver DeAndre Hopkins on Instagram recently.
“Hell of a player,” Goff said.
Goff said he has not had any interaction with Hopkins, who was released by the Arizona Cardinals last month.
Lions coach Dan Campbell declined comment on whether the Lions were interested in adding Hopkins to their receiving corps as insurance while Williams serves his suspension.
Hopkins, 30, made five Pro Bowls and had six 1,100-yard seasons in a seven-year span from 2014-20 but has missed 15 games the past two years because of injuries and suspensions.
Campbell said the Lions will host two days of joint practices before their preseason games against the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars in August. With a day off between practices and the game, the Lions would practice against the Giants on Aug. 8-9 and the Jaguars on Aug. 16-17.
Contact Dave Birkett at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.