5:30pm: Mike Jones of The Washington Post reports (via Twitter) that Williams was suspended for missing a test, explaining the four-game ban. The reporter adds that the suspension wasn’t reduced on appeal.
Meanwhile, Joel Corry tweets that Williams’ suspension will wipe out the lineman’s $11.25MM guaranteed base salary for 2017. The salary is now guaranteed for injury only, but the salary will become fully guaranteed on the third day of the league year.
4:55pm: The Redskins will be without one of their top offensive lineman for the next month. The team announced (via Twitter) that tackle Trent Williams has been suspended four games for violating the NFL Policy & Program for Substances of Abuse. Williams will be eligible to return to the active roster on Monday, December 5th. Albert Breer notes that Williams previously served a four-game suspension in 2011, so this latest punishment may have been appealed down from 10 games.
“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,” the team said in a statement. “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 out 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’ absence will be a huge loss for the 4-3 Redskins, who are currently sitting outside of the playoff picture. ProFootballFocus.com ranked Williams as the league’s top tackle this season, and the 28-year-old has played a significant role in the team’s offense. The Redskins’ rushing attack may only be middle-of-the-road, but the offensive line has still only allowed 11 sacks, the second-fewest total in the league. Nick Shook of NFL.com also notes that Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins ranks 10th in ‘average time to throw,’ a number that can certainly be attributed to Williams. The four-time Pro Bowler will likely be replaced in the line-up by former undrafted free agent Ty Nsekhe. The team could also rely on Vinston Painter for reinforcement.
Williams signed a five-year, $66MM ($43.5MM guaranteed) extension with the Redskins in 2015. According to ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter), the offensive lineman will have to sacrifice more than $1.65MM in base salary and per-game bonuses.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.