Jameson Williams has insisted he is a football player, not a gambler, following his six-game suspension following an NFL crackdown on gambling.
The Detroit Lions wide receiver, 22, was suspended by the league for betting on non-NFL events from an NFL facility. Players are allowed to bet on non-NFL sports but not at a team facility, and had Williams followed that, he'd be gearing up to start the 2023/24 season with the Lions from the off.
Williams was one of five NFL players suspended indefinitely, with Lions teammates Quintez Cephus, C.J. Moore, and Stanley Berryhill also sanctioned. Berryhill and Williams, however, will be able to participate in all offseason and preseason activities, including preseason games.
Williams has now broken his silence on his six-game ban, which will see his return marked for Week Seven, insisting he's not a gambler. "I’m just looking forward to coming back Week 7, getting back with my team out there, playing a game," Williams told WXYZ. "I’m not a gambler. I’m a football player."
The Lions star also told ESPN : "It hit me out the blue. It hit a couple of other players around the league, on my team, out of the blue. I wasn’t aware of this situation. After it happened, 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 plan, moving forward from things and just looking for better days.”
Head coach Dan Campbell has backed Williams to have a productive offseason. "We're already miles ahead with him," Campbell told reporters. "We didn't get this with him last year; he wasn't able to do any of it. So that in itself is like, man, just to be able to build from the ground up, not the season, he's already in… Here we go, three weeks, four weeks, you see progress.
"So I think that's just it. Let's get him better. He's got a lot of room to grow and develop, and he needs this, this time. I think that's what it's about, man. We've got to sharpen every little thing with him, sharpen the routes, sharpen all of it -- like any of the guys -- but just get him as much time on task as we can at different positions."
"Williams has also already improved on running routes. I think some of the biggest growth is just in his routes," the coach said. "I feel like there's a little better route detail right now that I've seen over the last few weeks. That was kind of a point of emphasis. … When you can use your speed not just to take the top off but to put fear in the defense and then put your foot in the ground and the quarterback puts it on a rope, that's hard to cover."2023-05-25T22:07:28Z dg43tfdfdgfd