Rookie Wideout Jameson Williams Asked Former Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Stafford for Jersey No. 9

by Bryan Fyalkowski

Wide receiver Jameson Williams was last seen in action for Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship. Williams suffered a torn ACL in the Crimson Tide’s loss to Georgia on January 10, 2022, but his talents were too great for the Detroit Lions to pass up with the 12th pick in April’s draft.

Williams caught 79 passes for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns in his lone season for the Crimson Tide. If not for his injury in the title game, he likely would have gone inside the top ten.

He is without an official timetable to make his NFL debut this season. But Williams is already making headlines for his jersey number selection. He was last seen sporting No. 1 in college, and originally set to wear No. 18 for the Lions. It was an homage to the great Calvin Johnson, who wore the mirrored No. 81 during his stellar career in Detroit.

But Williams had a change of heart and wanted to grab a single-digit number, and he chose No. 9. That digit, of course, is the one former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford wore for 12 years with the franchise. As a courtesy, Williams reached out to Stafford and asked if he had any problem with the rookie wearing it this upcoming season.

Stafford – who helped lead the Rams to a Super Bowl title in his first season in Los Angeles – had no qualms. So Williams officially made the switch, and posted an Instagram story of a No. 9 Detroit jersey on a hanger.

According to the Lions’ online roster, the only single-digit numbers available are No. 7 and No. 9. The 21-year-old Williams will now look to create his own legacy while wearing Stafford’s former digit.

Detroit Head Coach Gives Update on Jameson Williams’ Injury

While Jameson Williams has been present at Lions training camp, he is not participating while he continues his ACL rehab. It has only been seven months since the injury, so Detroit is taking it slow with the team’s future star.

“We absolutely want to get him out there as fast as possible, and is it crucial,” head coach Dan Campbell said, via ESPN. “It is crucial, but not until he gets his strength up. He needs a lot of strength development in that body, his lower extremities – legs, knees, everything.”

He continued: “So, until he’s able to stabilize himself and really get some strength that we feel good about to where he can protect himself and compete at a high level, we’re not going to put him out there.”

According to a report by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler this morning, Williams will officially miss Week 1 of the 2022 season. That is not surprising news. The Dallas Cowboys recently made the same declaration about wide receiver Michael Gallup, who also tore his ACL in January.