WESTFIELD, Ind. — Jameson Williams is still a few months away from his first NFL game, but the Detroit The Lions brought their injured receiver to Indianapolis this week to experience the preseason road game and joint practice sessions against the Colts.
Lions coach Dan Campbell said the decision allows the team to be “a little more hands-on” with Williams as he recovers from a torn ACL he sustained in January.
“It keeps him involved in the football, in the meetings, we get a little more hands-on with the rehabilitation, and then he stays involved in this environment,” Campbell said. “I mean, this is a different environment, and I think all these things are great for him. For someone who’s young and learning what it should be or what it should look like, this is good.”
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The Lions are counting on Williams to play a major role as a vertical threat in their attack this fall, although the number 12 of the April draft is expected to sit out until mid-season.
While Williams traveled to Indianapolis, the Lions left several other young players in Allen Park to rehab.
Josh Paschal in the second round is not with the team as he is still recovering from an off-season hernia surgery, and sophomore pros Levi Onwuzurike and Ifetu Melifonwu and third-year linebacker Julian Okwara stayed home to also sustain injuries.
Both Onwuzurike and Melifonwu have been out since early August after missing a lot of time last season. Melifonwu, a third-round pick in 2021, played seven games at cornerback last year and is switching to safety this fall. Onwuzurike, a 2021 second round squad, played 16 games in 2021 but missed most of the training camp with a back injury.
When asked why Onwuzurike didn’t travel with the team the way Williams did, and what he misses by not being there, Campbell said: “It’s hard to go there now just with where we are now.”
“Look, every day he’s not there, it certainly doesn’t help,” Campbell said. “It doesn’t help him and it doesn’t help us as a team. However, it is what it is and it’s not his fault. So all we can do is ask him to keep treating it and our guys.” work with him and he gets better. But certainly not at the pace he wants or – but he’s getting better and he’s working through it. So that’s all we can ask, ‘Hey man, get well and then we’ll go from there.’ ”
Mr Lover Man
Austin Bryant had two strong practices against the Colts and, much to his teammates’ surprise, avoided serious skirmishes.
“Everyone on the team thought I would be the one to start the brawl, so I decided not to be that guy,” Bryant said. “I consciously thought about not being that guy.”
Bryant had a possible looting during team practice Thursday and another rush when he forced an incomplete pass. Bryant hit Colts quarterback Nick Foles as he pitched on the second play, causing several Colts to moan for Bryant to stay away from the quarterback.
Bryant apologized after practice and said the contact was unintentional.
“It’s hard, especially for a guy like me,” Bryant said. “I’m very emotional. I wear my heart on my sleeve when I play this game. I’m actually a very calm, cool, lover type of guy off the ball, if you would believe that. But everyone thinks I’m just a relentless fighter but actually I’m a good guy.”
Contact Dave Birkett at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.
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