Top NFL rookie from 2015 reinstated after being suspended for a total of two years

After spending the past two years away from football due to multiple suspensions, former Bills running back Karlos Williams could be making a return in 2019. 

According to NFL.com, Williams has been conditionally reinstated by the league and is eligible to play this year. Although it would be a gamble for any team to sign him, it's a gamble that could pay off if Williams ends up looking anything like the player he was during his rookie year in 2015. 

Back then, Williams looked like was going to be a steal for the Bills after they selected him out of Florida State during the fifth round of the 2015 draft. During his first and only year with the team, Williams carried the ball 93 times for 517 yards, which was the eighth-highest rushing total among NFL rookies that year (Todd Gurley led all rookies with 1,106 yards). 

Of course, Williams' rushing total probably could have been higher, but he played in only 11 games. During his time on the field, Williams was a bruising running back who couldn't be stopped. Williams ranked second among all rookies in yards per carry (5.56) and third in rushing touchdowns among rookies with seven. Williams also caught two touchdown passes on the year, giving him a total of nine scores for the season, which ranked behind only Gurley and David Johnson

Although his rookie season was a success, things quickly fell apart after that. Williams was suspended four games to start the 2017 season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, but he didn't end up serving that suspension with Buffalo, because the Bills cut him after he showed up to training camp overweight

Williams eventually latched on with the Steelers, but he never saw the field in Pittsburgh, due in large part to the fact that he was hit with a 10-game suspension in November 2017. Things got worse for Williams in June when he was suspended for the entire 2018 season after he violated the NFL's substance abuse policy again. 

With this week's reinstatement, Williams is now eligible to sign with any team, and due to his impressive rookie year, it won't be surprising at all to see at least one team take a chance on him. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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