Training camp kicks off Wednesday for the Detroit Lions at their Allen Park practice facility, with a variety of players needing to prove themselves in order to earn roster spots.
One of the players that won't be fighting for a roster spot is veteran wide receiver Tyrell Williams.
While that is the case, the 29-year-old still has a lot to prove.
In parts of five NFL seasons (69 career games), he's amassed 197 receptions for 3,181 yards and 23 touchdowns -- which is good for 636 yards per season. He also has an 1,000-yard campaign to his name.
Those are undoubtedly some decent numbers for an NFL wideout.
Yet, he didn't play a single down in 2020 due to a torn shoulder labrum, and hasn't put up north of 700 yards since 2017 with the Los Angeles Chargers.
With that said, Williams is, from all accounts, healthy, going into the start of training camp. That's a good thing for the Lions, who don't possess a ton of quality depth at the receiver position.
It's one of the reasons why Williams has a great opportunity to shine during camp.
The two other big reasons: He's playing on a one-year, "prove-it" deal in 2021, and he's being reunited with his former Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn. Lynn is the new offensive coordinator in Detroit, replacing Darrell Bevell, who served in the position for two seasons.
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Williams and Lynn spent two years together in Los Angeles (2017-18). So, there's a good likelihood that Lynn shows at least a bit of preferential treatment toward Williams, leading to a healthy amount of targets for him in the new-look Lions passing game.
And, then there's the "prove-the-doubters-wrong" part of the equation.
There are league executives and pundits that don't believe the Oregon native can perform at a high level any longer.
If he proves the doubters wrong, though, and puts up a 700-plus-yard receiving season, there's a strong likelihood he'll be able to cash in on a deal that pays him closer to $10 million annually than the one he received from the Lions (reportedly worth up to $6.2M).
That's typically a big incentive for a professional athlete, and I expect it to be for Williams, as well.
For that reason and the other ones mentioned above, I believe he is going to shine in training camp this summer.
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