Lions WR Jameson Williams says he was unaware of strict NFL playing rules after 6-game suspension

Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams was the highest-profile player among five suspended by the NFL last month for game violations, and was the only one who did not lose his job after news of the sanction.

The former No. 12 overall pick addressed his six-game suspension with reporters for the first time on Thursday, telling them he was unaware of the league’s strict rules against play at sports facilities. the team.

Via Brad Galli of WXYZ Detroit:

He hit me out of the blue. It hit a few other players in the league and on my team out of the blue. I was unaware of this situation, but as it happened, I took it on the chin. I was ready to move on. As things progressed, I had the consequences. That was my whole plan, moving forward, just looking for better days.

Williams and fellow Lions fighter Stanley Berryhill have both received six-game suspensions, while Lions wide receiver Quintez Cephus, Lions safety CJ Moore and Washington Commanders defensive end Shaka Toney have all been suspended indefinitely. All of those players, except Williams, have since been released.

Jameson Williams broke a rule he was unaware of, and unfortunately one the NFL takes very seriously. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Williams’ reported the offense was betting on college football games while at a team facility, which is explicitly prohibited by league playing rules. He didn’t divulge many details about the exact nature of the offense on Thursday, saying he wasn’t sure where he made the bets.

He also said he didn’t bother to appeal and was looking forward to coming back in Week 7:

“I just left him alone. They gave me six games and we left him. I can’t wait to come back in week 7, to come back to my team to play the game.”

Calvin Ridley was the NFL’s warning to its players

While Williams said he doesn’t know how well the NFL handles gambling with its players, the league made its prospects clear in 2022 when it suspended Calvin Ridley, then Atlanta Falcons wide receiver. , for a full season.

In this case, Ridley would have bet $1,500 at the end of 2021 on a series of bets that included other sports, but also Falcons games. He had stepped away from football by then so he didn’t play in those games but he obviously had access to the team that would make sportsbooks frown once they learned who was doing the bet.

The nature of Ridley’s and Williams’ offenses are clearly different, but it was pretty clear the NFL was making an example of the former.

Jameson Williams has held this position before

What made Williams’ suspension most frustrating was how long it took him to hit the pitch last season.

One of the most talented receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft, Williams didn’t make his NFL debut until Week 12 after tearing his ACL in the College Football Playoff championship game. It was apparently too late for him to play a significant role in the Lions offense, as he finished the season with a catch on nine targets for 41 yards, plus a rush for 40 yards.

Now Williams still has to wait to make his season debut. He’ll be back sooner and can train in the meantime, but that won’t be much consolation for Lions fans who want to see the player they’ve been waiting for since his name was announced in the draft.

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