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Gift-Wrapped WR from Vikings to Lions Won’t Play Week 1


Gift-Wrapped WR from Vikings to Lions Won't Play Week 1
Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Do you remember when you lost your mind because the Minnesota Vikings traded their 12th overall pick to the Detriot Lions, gift-wrapping WR Jameson Williams to a division foe?

Well, Williams won’t be ready for the start of the 2022 season.

The Lions, a team forecasted to win six or seven games in 2022, are “playing it safe” with their young wideout, shelving him early in the 2022 campaign. Wiliams is recovering from a torn ACL.

According to ESPN Jeremy Fowler, Lions GM Brad Holmes said about Williams, “We’re going to be very smart with him. He’s in a good place right now. It’s not going to be Week 1.”

Back in April, the Vikings had a trigger finger on the 12th overall pick but sent the selection to Detroit, who needed a game-changing WR to complement the upstart Amon-Ra St. Brown. Minnesota could’ve drafted “sure thing” safety Kyle Hamilton from Notre Dame but instead rolled the dice on a run-of-the-mill trade with Detroit. In the end, this was the trade haul:

Trade Lions
Image Courtesy of @purplebuckeye on Twitter

The Vikings added Lewis Cine (S), Andrew Booth (CB), Ed Ingram (OG), and Brian Asamoah (LB), while the Lions picked up Williams and Josh Paschal (EDGE). The Green Bay Packers parlayed a trade with the Vikings the following night into Christian Watson (WR). Later in the draft, the Indianapolis Colts also received picks in the deal’s fallout.

Detroit isn’t expected to contend for a division crown or the postseason in 2022, but stranger things have happened than the Lions finding a pathway to success. But, out of the gate, they’ll embark on head coach Dan Campbell’s second voyage without Williams, who figures to be a mammoth part of the offense in time.

For now, these are the Lions WRs:

  • Amon-Ra St. Brown
  • DJ Chark
  • Josh Reynolds
  • Kalif Raymond
  • Quintez Cephus
  • Trinity Benson
  • Josh Johnson
  • Tom Kennedy
  • Maurice Alexander
  • Kalil Pimpleton
Mar 2, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

And for at least another year, quarterback Jared Goff will distribute the ball, hoping to rekindle some of his 2018 magic that has seemed to die in the last three years. Per EPA/Play, Goff was the NFL’s 25th-best passer in 2021. Other QB metrics suggest Goff was around the 26th-best.

Per usual, the Vikings play the Lions twice in 2022, and Williams may or may not be ready for the first meeting. Minnesota hosts Detroit in Week 3 at U.S. Bank Stadium — or 44 days from now.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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