Jameson Williams has been suspended by the NFL for betting-related policy violations. The NFL announced the suspension of five players, as NFL Insider Ian Rappoport reported earlier on Friday. The suspensions applied to four players from the Detroit Lions and one from the Washington Commanders.
How Long Is Jameson Williams Suspended For?
Shaka Toney from the Commanders, along with Detroit’s Quintez Cephus and C.J. Moore, have been handed indefinite suspensions for betting on NFL games. Both Cephus and Moore have since been released by the Lions.
While both Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill have also been handed suspensions, they received lesser punishment after an investigation confirmed that their bets were not on NFL games.
Lions general manager Brad Holmes said shortly after the announcement that “We are disappointed by the decision-making demonstrated by Stanley and Jameson and will work with both players to ensure they understand the severity of these violations and have clarity on the league rules moving forward.”
The NFL’s Gambling Policy is clear. No one inside the league can participate in any form of gambling. That includes in-league facilities. And the NFL has set a precedent after suspending Calinvin Ridley for the entire 2022 season after betting-related violations.
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Williams’ agent responded by saying that “Jameson takes full responsibility for his actions and is very apologetic to the NFL, his teammates and the fans and city of Detriot.” Alliance Sports went on to say that Williams broke “a technical rule regarding the actual location in which the online bet was placed and which would otherwise be allowed by the NFL outside of the club’s facility.”
Williams will now need to serve a six-game ban for his betting activity at the Lions’ Facility in Allen Park. That means he will not be eligible to return until Week 7 of the 2023 NFL season.
The ban is to take place during the regular season, and both Williams and Berryhill are able to participate in offseason training camp and preseason games.
Williams’ suspension is scheduled to begin at the final league roster cutdown date. After serving half of his suspension, Williams can return to the Lions’ Allen Park facility for workouts but will not be allowed to take part in practice until the entire suspension has been completed.
What Does This Mean for the Lions Offense?
Williams was primed for a breakout year in 2023 and figured to be a key part of the offense. He will be a huge loss after being slated as a key weapon for Jared Goff and Co.
Entering the 2022 NFL Draft, Williams was one of the most explosive, electric, and twitchy receivers available. The Lions clearly needed a player like him on the roster, which led to them trading up to select the pacey playmaker.
The former first-round pick out of Alabama, who the Lions traded up to No. 12 in order to select, has already become an integral offensive weapon. He has been working out with a number of his teammates, including Goff, this offseason in California. The Lions are primed for a push at the NFC North title in 2023, and the loss of such a focal point and electric playmaker in Williams will only hurt.
While the Lions’ offense is much less dynamic without Williams, it is important to note that he missed a lot of the 2022 season with a torn ACL. Williams only played in six total games, which added up to 78 total offensive snaps. In fact, he recorded just one catch for 41 yards and one touchdown as a rookie. That came in week 14 against the Minnesota Vikings.
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The Lions have survived without Williams before, but it does leave the wide receiver room a bit sparse. Right now, the unit is of Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Reynolds, Marvin Jones, Trinity Benson, Maurice Alexander, Tom Kennedy, and Kalif Raymond — some of whom will be cut candidates. While at tight end, their starter is scheduled to be Brock Wright. The Lions may also rely more on the run game after adding David Montgomery this offseason.
Other receivers will have to step up, and St. Brown will once again have to headline this offense. Reynolds and Jones will need to be productive as well. It may also open the option of a pass-catching weapon for the Lions in the NFL Draft.
Detroit is currently drafting at No. 6 and No. 18 in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft and has nine total draft picks in which they can set themselves up for a playoff push.
Dan Campbell, Brad Holmes, and the Lions ownership will have an opportunity to fill the void left by Williams’ six-game suspension. Pick No. 18 stands out as a prime opportunity to add another offensive weapon at receiver or tight end, and they will pick up good value by doing so.
Receiving options like Quentin Johnston, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Zay Flowers, and Jordan Addison could be available, as could tight ends such as Dalton Kincaid, Michael Mayer, or Darnell Washington.
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