The Detroit Lions have started the season with a 1-2 record, but they could easily be 2-1 or perhaps even 3-0 with a few more breaks and more consistent play.
The Lions dominated the Minnesota Vikings last weekend behind the stellar play of wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, backup running back Jamal Williams, wide receiver Craig Reynolds and others.
This weekend, the Lions are likely to be without St. Brown, a record-setting second year player, and running back D’Andre Swift, a dual threat runner/receiver who has turned in highlight reel play after highlight reel play since he was taken out of Georgia in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The unfortunate news was shared by Dave Birkett, the Detroit Lions’ longtime beat writer, on his Twitter account.
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) September 30, 2022
In place of Swift, Williams is likely to get the nod at running back, flanked by former Kutztown state star and first year player Craig Reynolds.
Williams was one of the stars of the Lions’ ‘Hard Knocks’ HBO reality show, during which fans learned a lot about some of the Lions’ best young players as well as their coaching staff lead by former Lions and Saints tight end Dan Campbell.
Williams’ impassioned speech during the show, as well as his hard-nosed running style and outsized personality, have made him a fan favorite among Lions aficionados.
Right when you think Hard Knocks has been trash the last half-decade, in comes Jamaal Williams to possibly save the day. pic.twitter.com/xhcULjaTuM
— Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) August 8, 2022
Jamal Williams is going to be so funny on Hard Knocks
?: Lions IG pic.twitter.com/lfzAXyTDhP
— Honolulu Blues (@HonoluluBlues_) June 20, 2022
The Lions’ Offense is Still Among the Best in Football
While the team will certainly feel the sting of losing their top two offensive playmakers, there are silver linings.
Detroit is currently ranked number three in the NFL in total offense behind the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles, and Williams and Craig Reynolds should still make for an exciting backfield tandem.
Craig Reynolds was selected by Campbell as the player who most embodied the team’s ‘Grit’ motto in training camp. Both he and Williams are hard-nosed, no-nonsense running backs who will be running behind Pro Football Focus’ number one ranked offensive tackle Penei Sewell and a talented and powerful young offensive line in general.
It’s not known when former Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver and first round pick Jameson Williams will return, but so far developments are encouraging according to wide receivers coach Antwaan Randle El.
“He’s coming along,” Randle El said to The Detroit News. “Wish (he was ready to go) yesterday, but just coming along. We’ll see. Just got to keep working at it. And that’s the thing, he’s working hard, not just in the weight room, but in the training room and all that stuff, trying to get back and get going and get his first taste, so to speak.”
Without Williams and St. Brown, Detroit will rely on Josh Reynolds, who led the team in receiving yards last week, D.J. Chark, and T.J. Hockensen, the talented tight end who said after last week’s game that he wants to win and become a bigger part of the team’s offense.
Detroit will be taking on a Seattle team at Ford Field that ranks fifth-worst in the NFL in total yardage, and eighth-worst in yards given up defensively (three spots better than Detroit in that department).