Lions' Jamaal Williams feels like ex-girlfriend, but has no hard feelings toward Packers

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park — Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams spent his first four seasons with the Green Bay Packers, but the team opted to go a different direction this offseason after drafting AJ Dillon in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. 

Williams admits the separation stung, but it's not something he's taken personally. 

Running back Jamaal Williams had 56 receiving yards, 54 rushing yards and a touchdown in his first game with the Lions.

"(Shoot), it ain't hard for them to say bye," Williams said, when asked if it was difficult to leave the only NFL home he had known this offseason. "Y'all act like I left on my own, golly. I didn't do it. Shoot, if I could have stayed, I would've stayed. 

"They didn't want me, like that ex-girlfriend. Glad that I got a rebound, it was the Lions and they treat me good. You know what I mean? Now they're feeding me good, taking me to dinners. Another man's trash is another man's treasure."

The Lions signed Williams to a two-year contract in free agency and he's seamlessly transitioned into a backfield timeshare with D'Andre Swift. In the season opener last Sunday, the pair combined for 214 yards from scrimmage and each scored a touchdown.

"He’s exactly what I thought he would be," Lions coach Dan Campbell said about Williams. "There’s true value in that because he was as steady and reliable as a guy you can have. He looked exactly like he did in camp — he ran hard, he was high-energy, he played smart, and he helped move the football for us.”

On Monday, Williams will return to Green Bay for the first time. And while every player draws motivation from different sources, he isn't using the storied franchise's decision to go a different direction as motivation heading into the matchup. 

"Not really, it's more it's just part of the business," Williams said. "Everybody makes their choices and at the end of the day, I just gotta control what I can control. I just go out there and I'm grateful to be here. The Lions gave me a shot and I'm here to give everything I can for this team. It's going to be a blast."

Drafted in the fourth round of the 2017 draft, Williams appeared in 60 games across four years with Green Bay, including 20 starts. He averaged more than 700 yards from scrimmage per season, scoring 18 total touchdowns during that stretch. 

Williams clearly enjoyed his time with the Packers, and he hasn't dismissed taking part in one of their traditions if he manages to find his way into the end zone Monday evening — the Lambeau Leap.

"I mean, I might, honestly," Williams said. "I might just jump into some Lions fans, but I still might want to do a leap. I'm thinking about it."

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers