First-year head coach of the Cleveland Browns Freddie Kitchens could not have been more complimentary of wide receiver Antonio Callaway on Friday when it was announced the second-year wideout faced a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
Per Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot:
“I like the kid. I think he’s a good person,” Kitchens said. “Sometimes people lump these sort of things into being a bad person. This is a great kid, so we’re going to support him until he proves us otherwise. He knows what he has to do, though.”
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) August 9, 2019
Cleveland's general manager John Dorsey released a statement, too, saying the organization will “continue to support [Callaway] as long as he remains committed to taking advantage of the resources,” via NBC Sports' ProFootballTalk.
Callaway, 22, was selected by the Browns in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He flashed potential in his rookie season last year, recording 43 receptions for 586 yards and five touchdowns. Callaway would have been a solid third option for second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield, the team's first overall selection in last year's draft, behind Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry.
While the 5-foot-11 Callaway may remain at practice with the Browns, he also suffered a high ankle sprain during Thursday's 30-10 preseason win over the Washington Redskins.
Candidates for the Browns to step up at the wide receiver corps include 24-year-old second-year wideout and former sixth-round Cleveland pick Damion Ratley, undrafted free agent Derrick Willies, signed last year out of Texas Tech, and journeyman receiver Jaelen Strong, who last played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans in 2017.