Lions WR Jameson Williams wasn’t conscious of NFL playing coverage leading to suspension

After Thursday’s OTA observe, Detroit Lions extensive receiver Jameson Williams spoke publicly for the primary time since being handed a six-game suspension for playing on a non-NFL sport whereas at a staff facility.

Williams mentioned he was not conscious that what he did was a violation of NFL coverage. When requested to present specifics in regards to the incident, he couldn’t—saying, “I’m not sure. That was a while ago.”

Williams denied that he was playing on loads of video games.

“No frequent gambling. I’m not a gambler. I’m a football player,” Williams mentioned.

He heard about his suspension the Thursday night time earlier than it hit the information cycle, and was blindsided by the information.

“It hit me out the blue. It hit a couple of other players around the league and on my team out the blue,” Williams mentioned. “I wasn’t aware of this situation. But it happened and I took it on the chin. I was ready to move forward as things moved on and I got the consequences. That’s been my whole plan, moving forward from things and just looking at the better days.”

The NFL has insisted that their training program on the league’s playing coverage is obvious and thorough. In a latest piece by ESPN, the NFL’s vice chairman and basic supervisor of sports activities betting David Highhill defined the method:

“The education and training the players receive is different than what NFL/club staff receive, which is different than what officials get,” Highhill wrote. “We are very specific within the coaching to elucidate that in case you are concerned with the NFL, you may by no means guess on the NFL.

“There should be no misunderstanding on the policies,” he added.

That mentioned, in the identical piece, ESPN reported {that a} second wave of potential playing violations is at the moment being investigated by the league. The first wave included 5 suspensions, 4 of Lions gamers: Williams and Stanley Berryhill have been every suspended six video games for playing on non-NFL video games at a staff facility. Quintez Cephus, C.J. Moore and Commanders defender Shaka Toney have been all suspended indefinitely for playing on NFL video games. Soon after, the Lions lower Berryhill, Cephus, and Moore.

Williams is able to transfer previous it and deal with what he was drafted twelfth general to do: play soccer. While he is aware of he nonetheless has loads to show to Lions followers and his teammates, he needs to show it to himself first.

“I feel like I’ve got to prove a lot to myself, before I can prove anything to anyone else,” Williams mentioned. “I’ve got goals I’ve set. I just want to knock off my goal list, get on the field, things like that. Hopefully once those things come, fans will be pleased with how I play football, what I do, things like that.”

No. 1 aim on that checklist: win soccer video games.

“We got to make the playoffs, that’s No. 1 goal,” Williams mentioned. “Got to make the playoffs, go deep in the playoffs, hopefully win the Super Bowl, things like that. I just want to win games with my team.”

Williams missed the vast majority of his rookie season whereas he recovered from a torn ACL. He made simply six sport appearances—all in a restricted position—and caught a single go for a 41-yard landing.

Now totally within the mixture of offseason practices for the primary time in his profession, he’s already making a powerful impression, particularly along with his route operating.

“We’re already miles ahead with him,” coach Dan Campbell mentioned on Thursday. “We didn’t even get this with him last year. He wasn’t able to do any of it.”

Obviously, will probably be a problem for Williams to remain engaged throughout his six-game suspension, however the second-year receiver mentioned he’s locked in now and can proceed to be when he’s away from the staff.

“I just plan on to stay focus, stay continue working, no fall-offs, no down-ins. I just got to stay on top of myself until I get back with the team.”

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