Williams was conditionally reinstated from suspension by the NFL on Thursday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Williams scored nine touchdowns in 11 games as a rookie fifth-round pick for the Bills in 2015, but repeated violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy kept him out of the league the past three seasons aside from a stint on the Steelers' practice squad in 2016. He'll turn 26 in May and will be hoping for a mere opportunity to compete for a roster spot.
Williams has been suspended by the NFL for at least one year following a third violation of the league's substance-abuse policy, ESPN.com's Field Yates reports.
Selected in the fifth round of the 2015 draft, Williams averaged 5.6 yards per carry and scored nine touchdowns in 11 games as a rookie, but he reported to 2016 minicamp out of shape and then received a four-game suspension for violating the substance abuse policy. The Bills cut him toward the end of training camp, and while he spent part of the season on Pittsburgh's practice squad, the Steelers released him in March. Williams will have to wait until at least 2018 to get another shot in the NFL.
Williams, who the Steelers had signed to a reserve/future contract, has been waived, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Williams, who spent time on the Steelers' practice squad in 2016, has yet to build off his promising rookie campaign with the Bills, with off-the-field and conditioning issues having stalled the 23-year-old's career since then.
Williams' 10-game suspension was rescinded Tuesday, after which the Steelers signed the running back to a reserve/future contract, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Williams impressed on the field as a rookie in 2015, spelling the Bills' LeSean McCoy to the tune of 517 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground in 11 games. Furthermore, Williams displayed some pass-catching acumen with 11 catches (on 14 targets) for 96 yards and two touchdowns. However, his first full offseason didn't go as swimmingly, as he showed up to spring workouts significantly overweight before he was handed a four-game ban for a violation of the substance abuse policy. After landing on the non-football illness list at the outset of training camp, he made a brief foray in drills after passing a physical but was cut loose a short time later on Aug. 20. Eventually landing on the Steelers' practice squad on Oct. 12, Williams was tabbed with a lengthier suspension in late November for another violation of the policy on substances of abuse. Although his career seemed to be hanging on by a thread entering the offseason, Thursday's development could be the jump start he requires to find his way in the NFL.
Williams reportedly will be suspended for 10 games for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports.
Williams is on the Steelers' practice squad, but this news effectively assures that he won't be a fantasy factor this season. As a rookie in 2015, Williams scored a total of nine TDs in 11 games for the Bills.
Williams could be promoted from the Steelers' practice squad for Sunday's game against the Cowboys, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Williams joined Pittsburgh's practice squad last month and has remained there thus far, but with DeAngelo Williams (knee) being sidelined, his services may be required Sunday. As it stands, Le'Veon Bell and Fitzgerald Toussaint are the Steelers' lone healthy tailbacks, so either Williams or Daryl Richardson could join the fray ahead of this weekend's game against Dallas. As a rookie last season with the Bills, Williams rushed for 517 yards and scored nine touchdowns in 11 games.
Williams signed with the Steelers' practice squad Wednesday.
Williams was let go by the Bills after he showed up this summer grossly out of shape and then received a four-game suspension for a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. However, he did score nine touchdowns for the Bills last season, so putting him on the practice squad and seeing what he can do seems like a good low-risk signing by the Steelers. However, given his body of work last season, it's not inconceivable that a running back-needy could eventually snatch him to their active roster.
The Bills are expected to re-sign Williams, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
Having completed his four-game suspension for a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy, Williams is looking to revive his playing prospects, an endeavor that would be expedited if he is able to demonstrate that he's in better condition than he was during the offseason. Given that Williams posted an average of 5.6 yards per carry and scored nine touchdowns in 11 games as a rookie with the Bills last season, the 23-year-old could conceivably resurface on the fantasy radar this season if he can re-prove both his fitness and touch around the goal line.
Williams (suspension) is eligible to return from his four-game suspension for a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports.
The offseason was a tumultuous one for Williams, who showed up at spring camp with more than a few extra pounds, later received the aforementioned suspension, and was eventually released on Aug. 20. In the ensuing weeks, he worked out with a number of teams, among them the Jets and Steelers. If he shows improved conditioning in subsequent workouts, he may find a landing spot in the very near future.
Williams recently worked out for the Steelers, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
The Steelers have joined the Jets as teams that have put Williams through a workout. Schefter specifically noted that Williams is "getting back in shape," meaning a landing spot could become clear as the regular season approaches. In Pittsburgh, the backfield will be devoid of Le'Veon Bell for the first three games due to a suspension, but Williams himself has a four-game ban to start the campaign. No matter where he lands, Williams won't be making an impact on the field until at least Week 5.
The Jets are reportedly showing an interest in signing Williams, according to Sal Capaccio of WGR550 in Buffalo.
Williams exhibited plenty of fantasy upside in limited time last season with the Bills, but with a four-game suspension to start this season, not to mention the fact that he showed up to training camp significantly overweight, and there's little reason to think he'll have an impact in New York quickly, especially with Matt Forte and Bilal Powell likely dominating the touches out of the backfield.
Williams (suspension) was not claimed on waivers and is now a free agent, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports.
Williams vastly outperformed his fifth-round draft slot as a rookie, scoring nine touchdowns in 11 games while averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Seemingly headed for another season as LeSean McCoy's top backup, Williams instead allowed his career to take a drastic turn for the worse, first showing up to minicamp overweight, and then receiving a four-game suspension for a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. It still came as a surprise when the Bills waived Williams on Saturday, as teams are typically willing to work through off-field issues if a player displays enough talent. The team's decision was a major red flag, and the other NFL franchises seem to agree. Williams still figures to get another shot at some point, but he may not land with a team before the upcoming season.
The Bills released Williams (suspension) on Saturday, the team's official site reports.
In an offseason in which Williams arrived at spring camp overweight and received a four-game suspension for a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy, the decision was likely a prudent one in order to cut the fat from the Bills' backfield. Another team may take a chance on the beleaguered running back on waivers, but Reggie Bush (knee), Mike Gillislee, and rookie Jonathan Williams will now jostle for slotting on the depth chart behind starter LeSean McCoy (ankle) in Buffalo.
Williams passed his physical, was activated off the NFI and is expected to practice on Monday, Chris Brown of Buffalobills.com reports.
Facing a four-game suspension to start the regular season due to a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy, Williams showed up to minicamp overweight and not ready to play. While the running back's return is both encouraging for himself and the Bills, he'll have a lot of work to do if he wants to see the field by Week 5 as he competes with a crowded Buffalo backfield that includes both Jonathan Williams and Mike Gillislee behind starter LeSean McCoy.
The Bills placed Williams (suspension) on the Non-Football Illness list Friday, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reports.
Already set to miss the first four games of the upcoming season due to a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy, Williams' quandary is further compounded by his conditioning. During mandatory minicamp, he arrived overweight and was "nowhere where he needs to be," according to head coach Rex Ryan at the time. On Friday, general manager Doug Whaley said that Williams must be "cleared medically" before commencing conditioning work, which is quite the ominous sign. Missing the first four games of the season gives Williams additional time to get into shape, but the Bills may have already turned to Mike Gillislee or Jonathan Williams as LeSean McCoy's (ankle) primary handcuff by Week 5.
Williams 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, pending discipline, the aforementioned Williams will have added opportunities to earn valuable touches behind starter LeSean McCoy (ankle).
Williams may open training camp doing conditioning work instead of practicing with his teammates, The Buffalo News reports.
Visibly overweight in last month's minicamp, Williams may not have enough time to get into shape before the Bills start training camp on July 30. Despite his impressive production (5.6 YPC, nine touchdowns) on limited touches as a rookie, Williams may have opened the door for fifth-round rookie Jonathan Williams to push for a role behind incumbent starter LeSean McCoy.
Bills head coach Rex Ryan said Williams is "nowhere near where he needs to be" in terms of conditioning, Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News reports.
This seemingly confirms the rumors that Williams showed up to minicamp overweight -- perhaps even to an extent that was readily visible on a frame that's already listed at 6-1, 230. It's probably not a major concern with training camp still more than a month away, but it will start to become worrisome if Williams hasn't trimmed down by late July/early August. Coming off a rookie campaign in which he ran for 5.6 yards per carry and scored nine times in 11 games, Williams is again slated for a chance-of-pace role behind LeSean McCoy, who is currently dealing with an ankle injury that's believed to be minor. Buffalo led the NFL in rushing yards (2,432), YPC (4.8) and rushing touchdowns (19) last year, with both McCoy and Williams, in addition to QB Tyrod Taylor, proving to be quite effective when healthy. Williams missed five games, McCoy missed four, Sammy Watkins (foot) missed three and Taylor missed two.
Rookie fifth-round selection Jonathan Williams will join (Karlos) Williams and LeSean McCoy in the Buffalo backfield, Tyler Dunne of The Buffalo News reports.
Also a fifth-round selection, Karlos enjoyed an efficient rookie season, gaining 517 yards on just 93 carries (5.6 YPC) with nine total touchdowns in 11 games. He's well positioned to serve as LeSean McCoy's top backup again, but Jonathan could also compete for touches. There's been no indication that Karlos is still bothered by the knee injury that held him out in Week 17 last season.
Williams was forced out of Sunday's game against the Jets with a knee injury.
With LeSean McCoy out, look for Mike Gillislee to see added work in the Bills' backfield while Williams is sidelined. Prior to his exit from Sunday's contest, Williams carried six times for 24 yards with a TD.