Buffalo Bills running back Jonathan Williams, who was arrested in July 2016 on potential charges of Driving While Intoxicated, will not face any league discipline for the incident, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The issue of league discipline was always going to be sidelined for a year, as we noted eleven months ago. Roger Goodell has had a policy of allowing legal cases to play out before imposing any penalties.
While, at the time of the incident, it was appropriate to expect that Williams would face a two-game suspension for his actions, his exoneration of all charges earlier this month made that a remote possibility. Nearly every running back who ended up suspended for substance abuse violations related to a DWI were found guilty or pleaded no contest in their case. By coming out innocent, Williams gets off scot-free.
It couldn’t have been a more fortuitous decision for the Bills running back. He is the only returning member of the backfield other than the star of the show, LeSean McCoy. That gives him the inside track to rotate for 75-150 carries this season, assuming he’s used in a similar role to former backup Mike Gillislee. Williams was, at one point, considered a top running back prospect, until a broken foot ended his senior season abruptly. Now another chance has opened for him to prove himself.