Aug. 9 (UPI) — Cleveland Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway was suspended four games for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, the team announced Friday.
Callaway is eligible to participate in the Browns’ preseason practices and games. He will be eligible to return to Cleveland’s active roster Sept. 30.
“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Callaway said in a statement. “I made a mistake and I own that. I have taken steps to make myself better and I appreciate the Browns standing by me and supporting me during this time. I know there’s nothing I can say to regain trust; it will all be about my actions.”
Callaway previously tested positive for marijuana at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. He also was cited for marijuana possession while driving with a suspended license last August.
The possession charge was dropped Jan. 25 and Callaway pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle without a valid license and speeding. He received a fine and one year of probation.
League sources told the NFL Network that Callaway’s four-game ban stems from a separate violation and is unrelated to his August citation.
“We’re disappointed in Antonio,” Browns general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. “[Head coach] Freddie [Kitchens] and I have had a direct conversation with him about where we stand. He understands our expectations of him.
“We will continue to support him as long as he remains committed to taking advantage of the resources made available to him by our club and the league to help him become the best version of himself as a person first and foremost.”
WR Antonio Callaway has been suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the 2019 regular season
Details » https://t.co/5WXiSGrDut pic.twitter.com/7XFuBuIgI4— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 9, 2019
The Browns selected Callaway in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Florida. As a rookie last season, he recorded 43 receptions for 586 yards and five touchdowns.
Callaway is expected to be a key piece of the Browns’ offensive unit, alongside star receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry this season.