Detroit Lions receiver Jameson Williams watches passing drills during practice Thursday, July 28, 2022 at the Allen Park practice facility.

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Lions’ 1st-round pick to wear No. 9 with Matthew Stafford’s blessing

Lions rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams reached out to Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford for permission to wear the No. 9 jersey in Detroit.

Williams, who was selected with the 12th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, initially chose No. 18 in what he considered to be honoring Calvin Johnson. The Pro Football Hall of Famer had worn No. 81 during his career with the Lions.

Williams revealed his jersey number on Instagram, but only after reportedly reaching out to Stafford via text as a courtesy.

Stafford didn’t have any objections, per ESPN.

To be clear, the number is not retired by the Lions and Williams was under no obligation to ask for permission.

Stafford played 12 seasons with the Lions after the team selected him with the top overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft. He went on to guide the Rams to a Super Bowl title last season in his first campaign with the club.

Williams is recovering from a torn ACL he sustained while playing for Alabama in the national championship game.

He caught 79 passes for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns in 15 games last season for the Crimson Tide.

–Field Level Media

First-round pick Jameson Williams watches drills during Detroit Lions rookie minicamp Saturday, May 14, 2022 at the Allen Park practice facility.

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Lions doubtful WR Jameson Williams will be ready for camp

The Detroit Lions don’t expect rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams to be recovered from his ACL injury in time for training camp.

Williams, the No. 12 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft out of Alabama, had surgery on his left knee in January after an injury in the national championship game against Georgia.

“I don’t see him being ready for training camp. I don’t see that,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said Thursday. “I’m very hopeful, but I don’t see it. We’re going to do this thing the right way and when he’s ready, he’ll be ready. But, no, I don’t feel like you’re going to see him out there Day One.”

Williams has mostly been restricted to watching from the sidelines during offseason activities.

“We’ll have a plan for him moving forward,” Campbell said. “He’s going to be around here with us and the short period of time, at which he does go home, we know where he’s going to be and who those people are. So, we’re going to have a plan for him.”

Williams caught 79 passes for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns in 15 games last season for the Crimson Tide.

Training camp opens in late July. The Lions open the regular season on Sept. 11 against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles.

–Field Level Media

Dec 31, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Evan Neal (73) in action during the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the 2021 Cotton Bowl college football CFP national semifinal game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama’s Jameson Williams, Evan Neal, Phidarian Mathis enter draft

Three key players off Alabama’s College Football Playoff finalist team say they are entering the NFL draft.

Wide receiver Jameson Williams, offensive tackle Evan Neal and defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis all announced they won’t return to Tuscaloosa for the 2022 season.

Williams made his announcement Thursday at the end of a highlight-reel video he posted to his Instagram account.

“Bama fans, thank y’all for welcoming me and making Tuscaloosa home for me and my family,” he posted, in part. “With all that being said, I am starting the next chapter and taking my talents to the 2022 NFL Draft.”

Williams, a junior, had been viewed as a first-round pick before Monday’s national championship game, in which he sustained a knee injury. ESPN reported he tore the ACL in his left knee during the 33-18 Georgia victory.

The receiver played one season at Alabama after transferring from Ohio State. He led the Crimson Tide with 79 receptions for 1,572 yards, scoring 15 touchdowns and averaging 104.8 yards per game over 15 games.

Another junior, Neal also declared for the draft on Thursday after a big season that saw him earn All-America honors. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. lists the 360-pound left tackle as the top offensive tackle in the draft.

“It’s been a hell of a ride Bama nation! Now it’s on to the next chapter,” he posted to Twitter. “Roll tide forever!!”

Mathis announced Wednesday that he was giving up his final year of eligibility. The 6-foor-4 lineman had 53 tackles (12 for loss) nine sacks, six quarterback hits, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.

Kiper lists him as the No. 5 defensive tackle available.

–Field Level Media

Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Jameson Williams (1) on the sidelines during the second half after the game in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Alabama WR Jameson Williams has torn ACL

Alabama’s Jameson Williams, the projected top wide receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft, suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in the College Football Playoff title game, ESPN reported Tuesday.

He’s expected to have surgery within the next 10 days and make a full recovery and retain his sub-4.3 speed, per the report.

Williams suffered the non-contact injury in the second quarter of the 33-18 loss to Georgia and did not return. He returned to the sideline in the second half without his pads on.

Williams had four receptions for 65 yards prior to the injury to increase his season numbers to 79 receptions and 1,572 yards. He finished with 15 touchdown receptions on the season.

–Field Level Media

Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Jameson Williams (1) tries to jumps over Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Derion Kendrick (11) during the first quarter in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama loses WR Jameson Williams to apparent knee injury

Alabama star receiver Jameson Williams departed Monday night’s College Football Playoff championship game against Georgia with a possible serious left knee injury in the second quarter.

Alabama didn’t divulge Williams’ status, but ESPN reported early in the third quarter that he wouldn’t return to the game. About midway through the third quarter, he walked back to the Crimson Tide sideline but was not wearing pads.

Williams was injured on a 40-yard pass play early in the second quarter. His knee was hurt while making a non-contact move. Williams eventually walked with a limp to the locker room for further examination.

Williams had four receptions for 65 yards prior to the injury to increase his season numbers to 79 receptions and 1,572 yards. He has 15 touchdowns receptions.

The Crimson Tide were already without fellow standout John Metchie III, who tore an ACL in his left knee in last month’s SEC title game against Georgia.

–Field Level Media

Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jameson Williams (6) against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2021 CFP National Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-Ohio State WR Jameson Williams transferring to Alabama

Former Ohio State wide receiver Jameson Williams announced Monday he is transferring to Alabama.

He entered the transfer portal last week after he was unable to win a starting position in spring workouts. He caught 15 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns in two seasons with the Buckeyes.

Williams posted two images on Twitter wearing a Crimson Tide uniform, with the caption “The Next Chapter.”

In his last game with Ohio State, he caught one pass for 14 yards in a 52-24 loss to Alabama in the national championship game on Jan. 11, 2021.

A 6-foot-2, 188-pound junior from St. Louis, Williams is eligible to play immediately as the Tide look to replace first-round NFL draft picks DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle.

–Field Level Media