New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Embattled D.J. Williams was scheduled to return late October after being banned for violating the league’s banned-substances policy, but the Denver Broncos linebacker will have to sit out until mid November after the NFL extended his suspension.
Williams was suspended for three more games by the NFL Friday.
The extension of Williams’ ban was due to a conviction for a driving while ability impaired charge in August.
The 30-year-old Williams, who has emerged as one of the league’s top linebackers after Denver picked him in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft after churning a sterling career at the University of Miami, was already serving a six-game suspension for failing a mandatory league drug test.
The initial suspension was handed out after the league said Williams supplied a “non-human” urine sample during a drug test last year.
As a result of the league’s decision Friday, Williams’ overall ban for the ongoing season has been stretched to nine games.
Williams, originally scheduled to return in time for the Oct. 28 clash against the New Orleans Saints, will miss that contest and road games in Cincinnati and Carolina, too.
Williams will not be eligible to play a game until the Broncos host San Diego on Nov. 18.
Williams’ latest driving while ability impaired (DWAI) conviction was his second drunk driving offense since he joined Denver in 2004.
Williams, who remains on the reserve-suspended list and does not count toward the Broncos’ 53-man roster, failed in his effort to get a legal relief after the suit he filed to overturn the initial punishment was dismissed by circuit and appeals courts.
He raised the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it has not been addressed.
Last week, Williams travelled to New York to meet with NFL officials regarding his DWAI conviction.
Meanwhile, Wesley Woodyard and Keith Brooking have split time at the weakside linebacker position in the absence of Williams, who has been the team’s leading tackler in five of his eight seasons in the NFL.
Denver, 2-2 in its first four tilts without Williams, will clash Sunday with the Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, who also own a 2-2 mark.