Cleveland Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway was hit with a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy on Friday, one day after catching three passes for 42 yards in the Browns' preseason win over the Washington Redskins.
Callaway's suspension explains why he was running with the reserves in training camp, as Cleveland probably knew this ban was coming all along.
Browns general manager John Dorsey said that the team has spoken with Callaway and that he was understanding.
“We're disappointed in Antonio,” said Dorsey, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. “Freddie 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.”
After the Browns acquired fellow wide out Odell Beckham Jr. earlier this offseason, Callaway was expected to compete with Rashard Higgins for the No. 3 receiver role.
So, when Callaway was stuck behind receivers like Jaelen Strong on the depth chart in training camp, some eyebrows were raised, but now, we know why that was the case.
The 22-year-old, who played his collegiate football at the University of Florida, was originally selected by Cleveland in the fourth round (105th pick overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft.
He went on to have an impressive rookie campaign, playing in all 16 games and catching 43 passes for 586 yards and five touchdowns.