On Friday the Buffalo Bills announced that running back Karlos Williams will be suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season for violating the NFL‘s substance abuse policy.
Bills RB Karlos Williams will have more time to get in shape; he's been suspended the first four game for violating substance abuse policy.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) July 15, 2016
Bills Running Back Karlos Williams Suspended Four Games
The news of Williams suspension comes in the same week that Bills rookie running back Jonathan Williams was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. It was also announced this week that Bills star running back LeSean McCoy, whom Karlos Williams follows on the depth chart, will not be disciplined by the NFL for an altercation McCoy had with an off-duty police officer this past February. This has been quite a week for the Bills and their backfield.
The Bills organization did, however, put out a statement Friday addressing the suspension of Karlos Williams, per ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak:
“As an organization, we are disappointed that Karlos has put himself in this situation. Poor decisions such as this affect not only the individual, but the entire Bills organization. We will continue to work with Karlos through the various player programs we provide to assist him in making better decisions moving forward.”
Williams, 23, was drafted by the Bills out of Florida State in the fifth-round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He did an excellent job of backing up McCoy in his rookie season last year. In his first season with Buffalo, Williams led the Bills with seven rushing touchdowns, while rushing for 517 yards on 93 carries (averaging 5.6 yards per carry).
Williams was expected to be a big part of the Bills rushing attack this upcoming season as McCoy’s primary backup. But given his suspension, as well as the fact that he apparently arrived to OTA’s about 25 pounds over weight, puts a bit of question mark on his status moving forward.
Williams will have to be extremely careful of future violations going forward in his very young career. The fact that the former Florida State Seminole has already been suspended for four games means that he’s already had multiple violations of the league’s substance abuse policy. Under the NFL’s revised policy on substance abuse, if Williams suffers another failed test, he’ll face a ten-game suspension. A third infraction would force him to miss an entire season, so Williams will have to be on his best behavior moving forward.