Kerby Joseph

Lions Rumors: Gambling, Joseph, Gibbs

After the Lions were hit with multiple suspensions in April for player gambling violations and the announcement that the NFL was still investigating for further violations, Detroit has decided to take matters into its own hands, according to Kyle Meinke of MLive. The Lions are working to provide their players with a self-imposed supplemental education into the league’s policies on gambling.

The team’s violations led to the release of the players involved, except for former first-round pick Jameson Williams, who received a six-game suspension for making bets on non-NFL games while at the Lions’ facility. With so much damage done, head coach Dan Campbell gave some words on the team’s decision to implement further instruction.

“It’s much more an emphasis from us, as opposed to just leaving it to the league,” Campbell said. “Like, we need to make sure that we really hit this ourselves and make a point of it. We did, but obviously not enough. The proof’s in the pudding. So, for us, let’s take it out of their hands. They will have what they do every year, but now we need to put our own emphasis on it. And I think that is the best way to do it, is to highlight it.”

Here are a few other rumors coming out of the Motor City:

Lions S Tracy Walker Suffers Torn Achilles

After suffering a non-contact injury early in the Lions’ game yesterday, it was understood that safety Tracy Walker was facing a serious diagnosis. Today, it is believed that the veteran suffered a torn Achilles, which would end his season (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network). Walker has since confirmed that he did indeed tear his Achilles and will be out for the remainder of the campaign. 

“We don’t know entirely,” head coach Dan Campbell said after the game, via the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett. “We’ll know more in the morning. It doesn’t look real good. Obviously, it’s the ankle area, possibly could be the Achilles.” Confirmation of the worst-case scenario is likely to deal a major blow to the Lions.

Walker, 27, emerged as a starter in his second season with the team in 2019. That marked the first of two campaigns in which he has eclipsed the 100-tackle mark, and saw him register a career-high eight pass deflections. He had another productive season in 2021, which earned him a three-year, $25MM deal in March.

The former third-rounder led the team in tackles entering Week 3 with 18, and his absence would be felt throughout the Lions’ secondary. Cornerback Jeff Okudah has returned to form after suffering an Achilles tear of his own during last year’s season opener. Now, Detroit will once again move forward with a key starter unavailable for the remainder of the campaign.

Juju Hughes filled in for Walker after the injury. The former UDFA spent the past two seasons with the Rams, making 19 appearances but primarily playing on special teams. He could see extended action on defense for the first time in his career, assuming it is confirmed that Walker will be sidelined until 2023. The Lions could also turn to third-round rookie Kerby Joseph as a fill-in option.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/17/22

Here are the latest draft pick signings around the NFL:

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Lions Sign Round 1 WR Jameson Williams

Jameson Williams agreed to terms on his fully guaranteed rookie contract Thursday, per’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The Lions now have both their 2022 first-rounders signed, after having inked No. 2 overall pick Aidan Hutchinson to his rookie deal earlier this week.

The No. 12 overall pick, Williams will be tied to his rookie deal for at least three seasons and can be under Lions control through 2026 (via the fifth-year option). He is set to earn around $17.5MM on this contract.

Detroit traded its Nos. 32 and 34 picks to Minnesota to climb up for Williams, who zoomed onto the draft radar after his dominant season at Alabama. Williams joins DJ Chark as key offseason receiver additions for a Lions team that featured one of the NFL’s worst wideout situations in 2021.

Playing behind the likes of Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave at Ohio State, Williams transferred to an Alabama squad that had just lost DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. The Crimson Tide put the slender speedster to work immediately, and Williams posted a monster season — 79 receptions, 1,572 yards, 15 touchdowns — as a junior to help the SEC powerhouse to another national championship game.

The torn ACL Williams suffered in that loss to Georgia did not impact his draft stock much, but the 179-pound pass catcher is expected to begin the season on the PUP list. Many NFL evaluators expect Williams to be out until November, via Jeremy Fowler of, though the rebuilding Lions are likely fine playing the long game with the recovering prospect.

In addition to signing Williams, the Lions and third-round safety Kerby Joseph agreed on the terms of his rookie contract. The Lions took Jones 97th overall out of Illinois. His four-year deal is worth just more than $5MM, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press notes.