Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway has been suspended for the first four games of the 2019 season for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, the league announced Friday. Callaway had been practicing with Cleveland's reserves this preseason as he appealed his suspension.
Callaway will be eligible to return to the Browns’ active roster on Monday, Sept. 30, following the team’s Sept. 29 game at Baltimore and is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games until the start of the regular season.
“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, 22, was cited for marijuana possession last summer. Those charges were dismissed earlier this year.
Friday's suspension is reportedly for a separate violation of the league's substance abuse policy and is unrelated to last year's citation, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network. Callaway was also cited for marijuana possession while at the University of Florida, where he had several other off-field incidents resulted in his suspension for the entire 2017 season.
"We’re disappointed in Antonio," general manager John Dorsey said. "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.”
Callaway caught 43 passes for 586 yards and five touchdowns last year during his rookie campaign. He had three catches for 42 yards against the Redskins on Thursday night in the Browns' preseason opener.
Cleveland selected Callaway in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL draft.