Lions WR Jameson Williams’ preseason likely over due to recent hamstring injury

Detroit News

Allen Park — The Detroit Lions’ plan to “douse” Jameson Williams with preseason reps lasted all of one game. Coach Dan Campbell confirmed a hamstring injury the second-year receiver suffered during Wednesday’s practice likely will sideline Williams for the next two weeks, meaning he’s not likely to see game action again until Week 7 of the regular season, following the expiration of his six-game suspension for violating the league’s gambling policy.

During Wednesday’s joint practice with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Williams pulled up lame while running a deep route, clutching at his right hamstring. Minutes later, he hobbled inside the practice facility for further evaluation. It’s the opposite hamstring he had hurt earlier in training camp, which sidelined him for a handful of practices.

The latest injury means Williams’ physical development will be stunted once again, but Campbell isn’t sweating the latest setback.

“As long as he stays on top of the mental portion of it, you can get a lot out of the mental work,” Campbell said. “If he grinds on that, takes care of the hamstring, we’ll take it as it comes.”

The injury is just the most recent blow for Williams, who has struggled to get his pro career on track through its early stages. He missed the first 11 games of his rookie season while rehabbing from a torn ACL he suffered at the University of Alabama, played just 78 snaps in six games and caught one of nine passes his direction after returning to action, then drew the six-game suspension this offseason.

As it currently stands, Williams would be prohibited from getting treatment at the team’s facility during his suspension, but the Lions are exploring an exemption. Under the guidelines of the six-game ban, he is required to be away from the team facility for three weeks before he can rejoin team meetings, practices and treatment routines.

In addition to Williams, the Lions also saw Pro Bowl receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown exit Wednesday’s practice because of an ankle injury. Campbell said that issue is minor, but will still sideline St. Brown for a few days. He’s expected to return to practice sometime next week, ahead of the preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers.

The team also remains without Denzel Mims, leaving the door open for some of the younger players battling for a roster spot at receiver to step up and claim a job.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Campbell said. “It’s another spot, honestly, this room is wide open right now. We’ve got a pretty good feel for some of these guys, but we have a spot, potentially two, (that’s) wide open. (Chase) Cota, you want it, go get it. (Dylan) Drummond, you want it, go get it. Who knows, Trinity Benson, we’re going to get him back out there a little bit today, running around.

“Our eyes are wide open and we’re looking for a guy,” Campbell continued. “We’ve got a track record in a three-year period year, it doesn’t matter where you’ve been drafted, who you are, what it is, you’ve got an opportunity. If you want to go earn it, go get it.”

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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