Earlier today, reports broke that the NFL was investigating a fifth member of the Detroit Lions for violating the league’s gambling policy.
Now, one of those suspended players, 22-year-old wide receiver Jameson Williams, is claiming that he didn’t even know the NFL’s rule on gambling when he allegedly broke them.
“It hit me out the blue, and it hit a couple players on my team and around the league out the blue,” Williams told reporters on Thursday, via USA Today.
“I wasn’t aware of this situation. But as it happened, I took it on the chin. I was ready to move forward. As things went on, I got the consequences. That’s been my whole plan: moving forward from things and just looking at the better days.”
In addition to Williams, fellow wide receiver Stanley Berryhill, who was released by the team in May, was also hit with a six-game suspension by the league office. Furthermore, safety C.J. Moore and wide receiver Quintez Cephus received indefinite suspensions and were subsequently cut by the team.
Speaking about the wave of suspensions his team is enduring, Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell took the blame, comparing the situation to a teacher having a class full of students failing an exam. He also disputed Williams’ pleas of ignorance.
“Look, he knows. He’s gotten it from everybody. So, look, it happened. It’s an emphasis of the league right now. It’s a big thing, our players know. We’ve tried to hammer it home. Certainly, we did after that point and hit it two more times and we’ll keep doing it,” Campbell said.
Williams, who was taken 12th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, logged just one catch during his rookie season in Detroit as he missed a majority of the campaign with a torn ACL that he suffered during his college days at the University of Alabama.