When Jameson Williams was informed of a six-game suspension due to gambling infractions, the Lions wide receiver didn’t realize that he’d violated NFL policy.
But “it caught me,” Williams said Thursday, addressing the suspension for the first time and insisting that he’s ready to move on once Week 7 arrives.
He didn’t specify the sports he gambled on or the number of bets, but Williams, Detroit’s first-round pick in 2021, said that there wasn’t “frequent gambling.”
“I’m not a gambler,” the 22-year-old Williams said in his press conference. “I’m a football player.”
Williams was one of four Lions players suspended in April, with Williams and fellow wideout Stanley Berryhill suspended six games while receiver Quintez Cephus and safety C.J. Moore were handed indefinite suspensions — meaning that Cephus and Moore will miss at least the 2023 season.
Jameson Williams addressed his six-game suspension Thursday.AP
Commanders defensive end Shaka Toney was also suspended indefinitely the same day.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported at the time that Cephus, Moore and Toney all bet on NFL games, though the league determined through an investigation that none had been compromised.
“It hit me out of the blue and it hit a couple other players around the league and on my team out of the blue,” Williams said. “I wasn’t aware of this situation, but as it happened, like I said, I took it on the chin. I was ready to move forward as things moved on. I got the consequences. That’s been my whole plan moving forward from things, and just looking at the better days.”
It’ll mark the second consecutive season that Williams, eligible to return for Detroit’s Week 7 game against the Ravens, won’t be able to complete a full season for the Lions.
He missed the first 11 games of 2022 while recovering from an ACL tear sustained in Alabama’s national championship loss to Georgia, but Williams returned and flashed his potential with one catch — a 41-yard grab on one of his 78 snaps — that doubled as both his first NFL reception and touchdown.
Jameson Williams caught one pass during his rookie season in 2022.Getty Images
“Just make the right decisions,” Williams said, when asked what he learned from the suspension, while adding that he won’t appeal. “It was something that I wasn’t aware of, but it caught me and it was just make the right decisions.”