Two people with knowledge of the situation said that this punishment handed down stems from Williams missing a drug test. Both people, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak on behalf of the Redskins, said that Williams did not fail a drug test. But according to the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, a missed drug test is just as bad as a failed drug test. Earlier this year, Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell drew a four-game suspension for missing a drug test as well.
The league’s statement read:
“Trent Williams of the Washington Redskins has been suspended without pay for the team’s next four games for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.“Williams’ suspension begins immediately. He will be eligible to return to the Redskins’ active roster on Monday, December 5 following the team’s December 4 game against the Arizona Cardinals.”
The Redskins also released a statement, which read:
“Today, Trent Williams was suspended by the NFL under the terms of the Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse for the next four games. We met with Trent today to discuss this unfortunate news. Per the terms of the Policy, Trent will be permitted to participate in team meetings and workout at the Redskins’ facilities throughout this time. The Redskins are counting on Trent to help our team when he returns from suspension. Our focus will now turn to the Minnesota Vikings after our bye this upcoming weekend. Any questions related to this matter should be directed to the NFL or NFLPA.”
Williams didn’t immediately respond to requests to comment.
This is the second time in Williams’s seven-year career that he has received a four-game suspension for violating the substance-abuse policy. The 2010 first-round pick received a four-game ban at the end of the 2011 season for failing multiple tests for marijuana use.
Since then, Williams had displayed improved maturity and had emerged as one of the team’s locker-room leaders. In 2012, he made his first Pro Bowl and had received the same honors the next three seasons. Williams last season signed a five-year, $68 million contract extension, with $41.25 million guaranteed, which made him the highest-paid left tackle in the NFL. He followed up that big pay day by earning second-team all-pro honors.
Williams this season is earning a base salary of $6.75 million, so the suspension will cost him roughly $1.68 million.
Williams this season has played at a high level despite battling knee injuries. His right knee has bothered him for much of the year, and then two weeks ago he sprained his left knee, but didn’t miss any playing time.
Ty Nsekhe will move into the starting left tackle position with Williams suspended.
More from The Post