Smith, working for ESPN, inadvertently referred to former Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson as Tank Williams. Smith reportedly made the error several times, and it wasn't corrected during that telecast, according to the Sporting News.
Williams said Smith called him personally and apologized.
"He said he was sincerely apologetic for the mixup and I said I understand," Williams said Wednesday. "He just wanted to emphasize how sorry he was. I understand it was a mistake and we're good."
Williams said he hasn't personally heard audio or seen the video of Smith's mistake, but it certainly wasn't the only time Williams has been referred to in the matter of Tank Johnson's legal troubles with guns, for which he is currently serving a suspension.
"I just heard that (Smith) mixed it up. I actually had some buddies from college that sent some links, that he had said my name like 20 times. I don't know how accurate that is," Williams said. "He just called and said he was apologetic for mixing me up with him and I accepted it. It wasn't a big deal to me."
Williams said he has heard Fox News and ESPN both say Tank Williams when they were reporting on Tank Johnson's troubles. When that happens, Williams said he has "his people" – his agent and the Vikings – call the media outlet that made the mistake to have it corrected.
"But when they clear it up, it's probably not going to be as broadcast out there as when they initially put it out there," Williams admitted. "It's one of those things that I try to catch it before it gets too far out there, but that's hard to do."
He said family members and friends alert him to it when it does happen.
"At first, it kind of got to me, but now it's one of those things that it's happened so many times that I let them correct it and move on from it," he said.
Despite all the trouble, Williams said he has never had NFL scouts ask him questions that were intended for Tank Johnson, and he said he has never considered going by his given name, Clevan.
"I've had Tank probably longer than he had his (nickname). When I was a baby, they gave me bottle after bottle of milk, so my sister (said), you should just give him a tank of milk. It stuck, so that's what I've been going with since I was a baby. My grandmother calls me Tank, all my teachers, friends, so there is no way I could even change if I wanted to, which I don't want to."
For the Lions, RB T.J. Duckett (ankle) did not participate, and RB Kevin Jones (foot) and QB Dan Orlovskey (toe) were limited.