William has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league's substance abuse policy, NFL.com reports.
Williams' suspension comes just one day after fellow Bills running back Jonathan Williams was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. Additionally, Williams' poor conditioning was called out by coach Rex Ryan last month, so his suspension only compounds an unimpressive first NFL offseason. After posting 5.6 yards per carry and scoring nine touchdowns in 11 games as a rookie, Williams now won't be eligible to play until Week 5 against the Rams. Until then, Mike Gillislee and the aforementioned Williams will have the opportunity to earn valuable touches behind starter LeSean McCoy (ankle).
Lawson signed his rookie contract Monday, BuffaloBills.com reports.
The real question is how much time Lawson's recent shoulder surgery ends up costing him during the first year of his contract. Right now, the team seems to still love the value they got in the middle of the first round, and Lawson's attitude in offseason practices seems to be impressing anyone. However, it may be awhile before we see him in action again. Manny Lawson will serve as the placeholder for Shaq Lawson's presumed starting OLB spot while the rookie continues to heal.
Watkins says his surgically repaired foot is ready for anything. He's doing full workouts with little in the way of limitations, but still says he needs to gain confidence with his speed cuts, especially when cutting left and putting torque on the repaired left foot. "That's something I'm not comfortable with," said the third-year receiver. "I can do any other route except that route. I'm just kind of tense about it. My foot is tense about it."
Even though the Bills are one of the most run-oriented teams in the league, the passing game goes through Watkins and there was a stretch last season where he within earshot of the Antonio Browns of the league. He hasn't proved he can stay healthy enough or avoid periods of inconsistency where he's a cream-of-the-crop fantasy guy, but he's not that far off either. It'll be worth watching to see how quickly the staff incorporates him into training camp practices, but so far, so good in the recovery and we wouldn't knock him down too much from where he stood pre-injury.
Hughes finished the 2015 season with 52 tackles, five sacks, four passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. He played in all 16 games for the fourth straight season, while seeing action on 92.5 percent of the defensive snaps.
Hughes picked up 67 points in standard IDP scoring after putting up 90 the previous season, and that's mostly due to the drop in sacks. If your league counts passes defensed, he closed that gap a bit. In truth, almost every member of the Bills' defensive line struggled with Rex Ryan's new system, and there's little reason Hughes can't get back to double-digit sacks in 2016 as his familiarity in a complex scheme grows. Hughes also took some dumb penalties in 2015, and it won't sit well with the coaching staff if he doesn't clean that up permanently.
Gordon (suspension) suffered a quad injury this summer and won't be able to practice for at least a couple weeks, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
Gordon was conditionally reinstated by the NFL on Monday, allowing him to participate in training camp as he prepares to start the season with a four-game suspension. The Browns then announced that they will give the star wideout another shot, setting him up for a long-awaited return in Week 5, assuming he avoids any off-field issues in the meantime. However, Monday's plethora of good news was hindered a bit Tuesday, as the 25-year-old wideout has apparently been recovering from a quad injury that was previously unreported. While details weren't provided, initial reports suggest the quad is a major concern, with Gordon expected to miss "at least a couple weeks" at the start of training camp. Even if the injury doesn't threaten his Week 5 availability, it's worrisome that Gordon may miss a good chunk of camp (and possibly the preseason), as he already faces the tough task of returning from a 22-month layoff between NFL games, rejoining a Browns team that looks nothing at all like the version he last played for. Gordon will start camp on the Non-Football Injury list.
Bryant is likely done for the season with a torn pectoral muscle, Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports.
Bryant's timetable for return is set at 4-to-6 months. Bryant led the Browns with six sacks, along with 24 solo tackles and nine assisted tackles. While Bryant is out, rookie Carl Nassib may be next in line to start at left defensive end.
Barnidge (abdomen) plans to be ready before training camp.
Barnidge underwent surgery less than a week ago on a sports hernia but plans to come into training camp ready to go. The leader in receptions last season for the Browns said he specifically planned the timing surgery. "It was just an opportunity to get it all done and I won't miss any time. That was the purpose of it, so we would get all of this done and then I would be ready to go for training camp and it wouldn't pop in season", Barnidge said Wednesday before Browns' practice.
Bryant (suspension) pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drug charges on Wednesday and could have his four-game suspension prolonged, Scott Petra of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports.
Bryant was indicted in February on felony drug charges and originally pleaded not guilty, but changed his stance on Wednesday, pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges. As a result, the outside linebacker will receive 68 days probation which will expire on Oct. 3, the same day he is schedule to return from his original four-game suspension. However, now that Bryant has changed his plea, his case will yet again be reviewed under the league's policies, which could potentially lead to a lengthier suspension. Bryant recorded 5.5 sacks in 14 games in 2015.