Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams, suspended for the first six games of the season, said he was unaware of the NFL’s betting policy he violated.
“I was surprised,” Williams told reporters Thursday. “And he hit a couple of other players in the league and on my team.”
The league suspended former Lions players Quintez Cephus and CJ Moore, along with Washington’s Shaka Toney, for the entire 2023 season in April for betting on NFL games last year, adding that they can only apply for reinstatement.
Williams, the No. 12 overall pick in 2022, and teammate Stanley Berryhill were banned for six games for betting on non-NFL games at a league facility.
“I wasn’t aware of that situation,” Williams said, insisting he didn’t remember what he bet or where he played.
The former Alabama star, who missed much of his rookie season with a knee injury, said he was told of the suspension a day before it was announced last month.
“I was sick,” he recalled. “I hurt myself.”
Violations of league play have been rare in recent years. Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended for the entire 2022 season to play in NFL games and later reinstated. In 2019, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Josh Shaw was suspended for playing in an NFL game and has not played in the league since.
“It’s an emphasis in the league right now,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said. “It’s a big deal. Our players know that. We’ve tried to hammer it home. We’ve certainly done that after this point and a few more times and we’ll continue to do that.
While Williams said he was unaware of the NFL’s gambling rules, he accepted responsibility for his costly actions.
“I broke a policy,” he said. “I looked past these things.”
NOTES: The Lions created a competition at kicker, acquiring Jacksonville’s Riley Patterson for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2026 to push for or perhaps replace Michael Badgley. … RB David Montgomery and LB Malcom Rodriguez left Thursday’s practice with injuries. Montgomery, signed in the offseason to a three-year, $18 million contract, appeared to hurt his left leg in a non-contact drill.
Report from The Associated Press.
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