What happens now that Jameson Williams is being reinstated early from his suspension?

USA Today

Jameson Williams is no longer a prisoner of the NFL’s archaic gambling policy. Williams is a free man who will be reinstated on Monday after serving four games of his original six-game suspension for violating the league’s gambling rules.

The Free Jamo campaign paid off, and that’s great. But what exactly do these new developments mean for Williams and the Lions?


Here are some answers to a few pertinent questions surrounding the return of Jameson Williams.

What can Williams do now?

Williams will be fully reinstated by the NFL on Monday. As soon as the Lions activate him from the reserve/suspended list — a procedural requirement and nothing more — he will be on the 53-man roster. In short, Williams is back in full: eligible to practice, attend all meetings, meet with the media (which has also been banned to this point) and play in games right away.

Is Williams healthy?

You might recall that Williams missed a good portion of training camp and preseason after suffering a hamstring injury in practice. Under the terms of the suspension, Williams was unable to receive any medical treatment or rehabilitation from the Lions.

Head coach Dan Campbell was asked about Williams’ health in a press conference earlier this week. Campbell gave a brief answer when asked about the health of his wideout,

“He’s good.”

We’ll take Campbell at his word on that status.

What role does he play in the offense?

Before he got injured in training camp, Williams was being used in a variety of roles at receiver. While he primarily aligned as the “Z” receiver, the flanker role that typically works deeper routes on the outside, he did get a fair percentage of reps from the slot. He and Amon-Ra St. Brown, the normal slot receiver, did a lot of interplay in switching between the split end (X) and slot (Y) to help dictate coverages and matchups.

I expect that flexibility to continue. In short, he’ll be a receiver without an iron-clad, limited usage plan.

Who gets bumped to make room for Jamo?

The Lions don’t technically have to trim anyone from the 53-man roster because they currently only have 52 active players. The Lions have yet to make any roster moves beyond signing TE Darrell Daniels to the active roster prior to the Week 4 win over the Packers, and they had two openings.

However, players who are on injured reserve from the start of the season are now also eligible to be activated. That list includes OLB Julian Okwara and QB Hendon Hooker, who is on the non-football injury list but is also eligible to be activated now.

The most likely odd man out is veteran WR Marvin Jones, who wasn’t signed until after the Williams suspension was announced back in April. Jones has not performed well (2 catches for 8 yards on 7 targets, with one dropped pass) and saw his snap count diminish in favor of rookie Antoine Green in Week 4. Whether that means an outright release for Jones or just a demotion to weekly inactive status remains to be seen. Keep in mind the Lions have other injured players who could wind up needing to be placed on I.R. too.

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