Suspended Lions WR Williams 'wasn't aware' of NFL gambling rules
Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams addressed his six-game suspension for violating the NFL's gambling policy on Thursday, saying he wasn't aware of the league's rules.
"It hit me out of the blue and it hit a couple (of) other players around the league and on my team out of the blue," Williams said, according to ESPN's Eric Woodyard. "I wasn't aware of this situation, but as it happened, I took it on the chin."
"Not a gambler ... I'm a football player," added Williams, who said he didn't bet frequently.
In April, the NFL suspended five players for violating its gambling policy, including four Lions. Williams was reportedly punished for gambling on college sports from the Lions' facility. Wide receiver Quintez Cephus and safety C.J. Moore were suspended indefinitely for betting on NFL games during the 2022 season before Detroit released them. The NFL's gambling policy prohibits personnel from gambling in any manner while in a club or league facility.
Williams won't appeal the suspension.
"I just left it alone," he said. "They gave me six games and we left it at that. I just look forward to coming back Week 7, getting back with the team out there and playing the game."
Detroit selected Williams 12th overall in 2022. The Alabama stud missed the first 11 games of the season due to a torn ACL and finished the campaign with only six appearances. The 22-year-old had two touches last year and gained 81 yards on those plays, including a 41-yard touchdown catch.
Lions head coach Dan Campbell praised Williams ahead of Year 2, noting that he wasn't available for offseason work in 2022 due to his ACL injury.
"We're already miles ahead with him. ... He's got a lot of room to grow and develop, and he needs this, this time," Campbell said, according to NFL.com's Kevin Patra. "I think that's what it's about. We've got to sharpen every little thing with him, sharpen the routes, sharpen all of it, like any of the guys, but just get him as much time on task as we can at different positions."